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Incense burner: C.17 & A-1930

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Pottery: Unknown




Incense burner and cover with trigrams. Porcelain, thrown, with parts attached, pierced and glazed. The domed cover is pierced with four trigrams between rows of three holes. The handles are pierced with similar rows of holes and the foot has shaped openings. The glaze has a pale bluish-green tone and evenly covers the piece. Traces of dark fire-clay supports mixed with sand are found around the footring and the rim of the cover.


History note: Unknown before donor

Legal notes

Given by Dr W.M. Tapp

Measurements and weight

Height: 16.3 cm
Width: 15.6 cm

Relative size of this object

15.6 cm16.3 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1926-02-15) by Tapp, W. M., Dr


19th century
Choson Dynasty (1392 - 1910)
Circa 1800 - 1900


Such censers were commonly used in the Choson period at ancestral ceremonies. The basic shape is derived from ancient Chinese bronzes, but the domed lid with faceted knob and the pierced decoration are more Korean. The trigrams appear as a group of eight in the Yijing, the Chinese Book of Changes, which makes it likely that two such incense burners decorated with different trigrams were used together as a pair.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of glaze
Foot Diameter 9 cm

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Throwing : Porcelain, thrown, with parts attached, pierced, and glazed
Glazing (coating)

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.17 & A-1930
Primary reference Number: 16533
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 26 April 2021 Last processed: Tuesday 27 April 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Incense burner" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-01 02:36:47

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{{cite web|url= |title=Incense burner |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-01 02:36:47|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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