Chinese Cloisonne’ Incense Burner

I was created in China in the 19th century through the process of Cloisonne’ which originated in ancient times and evolved through the ages. By the 14th Century, China adopted these techniques and used them for larger pieces. I am (22” high and 15” in diameter). I believe there are similar incense burners in the throne rooms of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.

My base material is bronze, and my cover has a foo dog finial in gilt bronze. Strips of wire/metal were affixed to this base to make the designs and compartments (Cloisons in French) for the enamel. I have a turquoise blue background with a lotus scroll motif in blue, red, yellow, green, and white. Ring handles are gilt bronze and are based on taotie masks (a common motif on Chinese ritual bronze vessels from the Shang and Zhou dynasties). Three legs supporting the incense burner (ding in Chinese) are in the form of elephant heads with gilt tusks.

I was originally gifted to Mary Hulton Phillips for her new museum by Dr. and Mrs. Marvin Boris of New York. Please visit me in the rear gallery