This shape, inspired by ancient bronze li, was produced during the Southern Song through to the Yuan period for the domestic as well as the export market. The numerous examples of Longquan tripod censers retrieved from the Sinan shipwreck provide evidence that this shape was much sought after in Japan, the original destination of the ship's cargo, and where they have since been widely collected.
A number of Longquan celadon censers of this size and shape are published, including several in renowned museum collections. Examples in the Tokyo National Museum and Percival David Foundation, London, are published in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, Kodansha series, Tokyo, 1982, vol. 1, no. 97, and vol. 6, no. 37, respectively. Others include the example in the Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, Ice and Green Clouds: Traditions of Chinese Celadon, Indianapolis Museum of Art, p. 196, no. 79; The Baur Collection, illustrated by J. Ayers, in the Catalogue, vol. I, Geneva, 1972, no. A99; the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the Illustrated Catalogue of Sung Dynasty Porcelain, Taipei, 1974, no. 12; and in the Cleveland Museum of Art, illustrated in the Catalogue of the Severance and Greta Milikin Collection, Cleveland, 1990, no. 6.