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A SMALL AND RARE QINGBAI CENSER
A SMALL AND RARE QINGBAI CENSER

NORTHERN SONG DYNASTY (960-1279)

Details
A SMALL AND RARE QINGBAI CENSER
NORTHERN SONG DYNASTY (960-1279)
The vessel is potted with a wide circular flange surmounting a columnar body, raised on a three-tiered ribbed foot, and is covered inside and out with a pale blue-tinged glaze pooling to a slightly darker tone in the recesses. The base is left unglazed, revealing the white body.
3. 1/4 in. (8.3 cm.) high, Japanese wood box
Provenance
Uragami Sokyu-do Co., Ltd., Tokyo.

Brought to you by

Margaret Gristina (葛曼琪)
Margaret Gristina (葛曼琪) Senior Specialist, VP, Head of Private Sales New York

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Lot Essay

During the Song dynasty, burning incense became a scholarly pursuit, and was practiced in small interior settings. Exquisite incense burners, such as the present example, are most suitable for use in a scholar’s studio. In the Northern Song painting Tingqin tu in the Palace Museum, Beijing, the main figure sits next to a xiangji on which a small censer, reminiscent of the present example, is seen burning incense. According to some scholars, this figure is probably Emperor Huizong himself.

Two qingbai censers of almost identical form and size, one from the Carl Kempe Collection and the other from the collection of Sir Alan and Lady Barlow, are illustrated by J. Wirgin, Sung Ceramic Designs, London, 1979, pl. 29a & b. Compare, also, a large qingbai censer of similar form in the collection of the Tokyo National Museum, illustrated in the Oriental Ceramics: the World’s Great Collections, vol. 1: Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo, 1982, no. 65.

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