A censer of this type unearthed in 1970, Hejiacun, Xi'an, Shaanxi province, is illustrated in Selected Treasures from Hejiacun Tang Hoard, Shaanxi History Museum, Wenwu, 2003, pp. 222-25. and again by Carol Michaelson in Gilded Dragons: Buried Treasures from China's Golden Ages, British Museum, 1999, pp. 111-12, no. 73. The author notes that four censers of this type were also found in the hoard at the Famen Temple, also near Xi'an. Other censers of this type with related decoration include one in the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Kansas City, illustrated by Jan Fontein and Tung Wu in Unearthing China's Past, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1973, p. 178, no. 91 (fig. 1); one formerly in the Hakutsuru Art Museum, included in the exhibition, Tang, Eskenazi, London, 1987, no. 1; and one in the collection of Pierre Uldry illustrated in Chinesisches Gold und Silber, Zurich, 1994, no. 201. The design on these censers is different from that of the present example, which reflects the variation of designs that can be found on censers of this type.
For further discussion of silver censers of this type and their gimbaled mechanism, see the footnote to lot 540.