the heavily cast incense burner has a compressed globular body supported on three short tapering feet. The short neck with two raised lines supports the galleried rim. The exterior is freely decorated with gold splashes. The base has an apocryphal three-character mark of Xuande within a recessed panel.
Height 5.8 cm; diameter 8 cm; wooden stand
The origin of gold-splashed bronze vessels is still a source of speculation. The popularity was fostered by Xuande bronzes of the Ming dynasty where the appearance of the gold splashes was caused by the uneven surface patination of the object. Some scholars have linked gold-splashed decoration on bronzes to qingbai and Kongquan wares of the Song, Yuan and Ming dynasties, see Tsang and Moss, Arts from the Scholar's Studio, Hong Kong, 1986, p. 184, and for an example of a splashed Yuan dynasty Qingbai ewer see our website under the category Ceramics, Early Wares (EFE15)