This incense burner is decorated with two five-clawed dragons frolicking with a flaming pearl amongst clouds and flames, beneath a narrow scroll border and above a wave base. The three legs bear animal faces above beast claws. The design is based on a legend of the dragon having nine sons which emerged in the Ming dynasty. One of the nine sons is named Suanni who resembles a lion and enjoys smoke, and thus appears often as a motif on incense burners.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012
Tripod censer ('ding')
early 17th century
porcelain with underglaze blue decoration
11.0 x 8.7 cm
Gift from the J.H. Myrtle Collection 2000
Where the work was made
Shown in 4 exhibitions
Chinese Pottery and Porcelain, The Ceramic Society of Australia, Sydney, 12 Nov 1951–24 Nov 1951
Dragon (2012), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Jan 2012–06 May 2012
Conversations through the Asian collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Oct 2014–13 Mar 2016
Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019
Referenced in 2 publications
Chinese pottery and porcelain, Sydney, 1951. cat.no. 65
The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Marvel of Porcelain', Sydney, 2003, 121 (colour illus.).