Incense burner

Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, 1644-1911
Porcelain with celadon glaze
Longquan ware (or possibly Jingdezhen ware)
H x W: 16.7 x 18.1 cm (6 9/16 x 7 1/8 in)
China, probably Zhejiang province (possibly Jiangxi), Longquan (or possibly Jingdezhen)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Incense burner

China, incense, Jingdezhen ware, porcelain, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911)

To 1911
Chin Tung, China, to 1911 [1]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Chin Tung in 1911 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 2118, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Chin Tung (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


Chinese celadons were among the first examples of Far Eastern ceramics to be exported to Europe. Emphasis among Western collectors was on the earliest celadons, and Charles Lang Freer was especially pleased when, in China in 1911, he purchased this incense burner, which was described as dating from the Song dynasty (A.D. 960-1279). Several years later, while praising the smooth lustrous color of the glaze, Freer raised the possibility that the incense burner might have been made at a later period, proposing a tentative early Ming dynasty (1368-1644) date. There is no information in Gallery records regarding where the piece was said to have been made.

The bold proportions of the incense burner and the summary modeling of the decorative elements supports a date considerably later than those suggested by Freer. Recent scholarship affirms that the incense burner was made in Zhejiang Province in the later years of the Qing dynasty.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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