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Title

Narcissus basin-shaped incense burner with 'chi' dragon handles

17th century

Artists

Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Other Titles
    Square-shaped censer decorated with a pair of animals in high relief
    Oval-shaped censer decorated with a pair of animals in high relief
    Narcissus basin with 'qi' dragon handles
    Place where the work was made
    China
    Period
    Xuande 1426 - 1435 Ming dynasty 1368 - 1644 → China
    Date
    17th century
    Media category
    Metalwork
    Materials used
    bronze
    Dimensions
    18.4 x 14.8 cm; 14.5 x 11.0 cm stand
    Credit
    Gift from the J.H. Myrtle Collection 2003
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    136.2003
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

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  • About

    This elegant and refined oval-shaped basin has a shallow body sitting on four short legs in the 'ruyi' sceptre design. Two 'chi' dragons with arched bodies are cast on to the long sides of the bowl, serving as handles. 'Ruyi' (literally meaning 'as you wish'), was the name given to a sceptre first popular in the Six Dynasty period (220-589), and often depicted in Chinese art being held by learned men of the Confucian, Daoist and Buddhist religions. This type of Xuande (1426-1435) bronze was a favourite adornment of scholars' studios, so much so that by the late Ming dynasty, many had been widely copied – a tradition that continued into the Qing dynasty.

    Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    China

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

    • Dragon (2012), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Jan 2012–06 May 2012

    • Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019