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A rare pair of wucai reticulated incense burners

  • Porcelain with wucai enamels
  • China
  • Ming dynasty (1368-1644)
  • Wanli period (1573-1619)
  • 17.5 cm
  • Parisian private collection

Description

Each vessel of tall high-shouldered hollow form, with six lobes. The neck pierced with quatrefoil openings separated by The Eight Treasures and ending on a galleried rim. The body alternating with ascending and descending chilong, each lobe pierced with sprig-shape openings issuing into lingzhi mushrooms. The foot is decorated with lotus petals. The background is painted with a dense iron-red diaper ground. The base is hollowed and with no glaze.

The wucai style (litteraly « five colours ») was invented during Ming dynasty when the crafstmen combined the overglaze red, green, yellow and black enamels with the underglaze blue. The use of wucai enamels on porcelain started duting Jiajing period (r. 1522-1566) then became really important during the Wanli reign (r. 1572-1620) and the Transitional period. Under Qing dynasty, wucaidesign were replaced by the Famille verte porcelains and the overglaze blue enamel.   

Bibliography : 

Oriental Ceramics, Boston, ill 237

Östasiatiska Museet, Stockholm – n° OM-1992-0046 (a reticulated incense burner with a different decoration)

Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, 1978, pl. 768 (a similar incense burner)

A rare pair of wucai reticulated incense burners

  • Porcelain with wucai enamels
  • China
  • Ming dynasty (1368-1644)
  • Wanli period (1573-1619)
  • 17.5 cm
  • Parisian private collection

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