HEIGHT: 17.8CM; WEIGHT: 1400G
The censer is of stylised archaic bronze ding form cast with taotie masks in relief between four decorative flanges on top of a dense cash pattern. The vessel is surmounted by a pair of U-shaped loop handles and supported on three long splayed dragon-shaped legs. A thick layer of gilding highlights the raised decoration whilst the rest of the bronze vessel is patinated to a deep russet colour.
A related example decorated in silver and gold inlay of similar shape and dating is illustrated in the National Palace Museum’s publication Through the Prism of the Past: Antiquarian Trends in Chinese Art of the 16th to 18th Century 古色： 十六至十八世紀的仿古風, 2004, p. 136, Catalogue No. III-01.
The Collection of Professor Peter H Plesch and Mrs. Traudi Plesch OBE and thence by descent, Collection No. Bh18, purchased from Bluett London in 1959 for £32.10. Professor Peter Hariolf Plesch (1918-2013), a friend and doctor of Albert Einstein, was fascinated by Chinese art and had the billiard room in his house converted into a private museum.