Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Period (1662-1722)
Length (Across Handles): 13.2cm
Weight: 692 grams
The bronze censer is of squat globular shape with a waisted neck set on either side with stylised animal mask handles. A two-character mark Gushi 古式 “Antique Style” is cast in relief on the base. The surface of the bronze is patinated to a deep brown colour.
Bronze censers with Gushi marks appear first during the Xuande period in the early Ming dynasty and were produced throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties.
The shape of the present censer is exceedingly rare in bronze and can be likened to a small group of imperial porcelains of the Kangxi period made exclusively for the scholar’s desk and covered in either clair-de-lune or white glazes. No other bronze examples are known. A related white-glazed censer example with a sixcharacter 大清康熙年製 Da Qing Kangxi Nianzhi mark is in the Shanghai Museum illustrated in Kangxi Porcelain Wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1998, Catalogue No. 231. Another white-glazed example from the Wang Xing Lou Collection is published in Imperial Perfection: The Palace Porcelain of Three Chinese Emperors 清代康雍乾官窯瓷器「望星樓藏瓷」, Hong Kong, 2004, pp. 170-171, Catalogue No 61.