This censer is similar to others that have been dated to the Xuande period, or first half of the fifteenth century. Two of these, formerly in the Kitson Collection, are illustrated by Sir Harry Garner, Chinese and Japanese Cloisonné Enamels, London, 1962, pls. 17 A and 19 A. The first has a similar key-fret band below the rim, but without the bosses, while the band on the second censer has bosses, but positioned between clouds, and both have covers and gilt-metal foliate motifs on the legs, which are shorter and end in a simple gilt-bronze band at the bottom. Another in the Avery Brundage Collection, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, illustrated by B. Quette (ed.), Cloisonné Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, Bard Graduate Center, p. 235, no. 23, does not have the applied bosses on the red key-fret band. Two other fifteenth century examples, both with covers, in the Uldry Collection, are illustrated by H. Brinker and A. Lutz in Chinese Cloisonné: The Pierre Uldry Collection, The Asia Society Galleries, New York, 1989, nos. 13 and 15. See, also, the example, without bosses or gilt-mounts on the feet sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 2 November 1999, lot 799.
Cloisonné enamel vessels of fourteenth-to sixteenth-century date were highly prized at the Qing court during the eighteenth century, and master craftsmen working for the Emperors Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong sometimes embellished them with newly prepared metal fittings. This practice of enhancement can be seen on the present censer, on which the gilt-metal bosses, feet and liner are Qing additions.