Henan Museum
Cloisonne Enamel Incense Burner in the Shape of Turtle
Edit: Acf
Time: 2023-09-18 17:06:04
Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Provenance: Collection
Measurements: L. 8 cm, H. 12.8 cm

The incense burner was created in the shape of a turtle. Having its head raised, with two horns on it, it has a globular body, atop which is a stupa-formed cover with a perforation, a flat and curved tail at its rear, and four wide and stout feet. Cloisonné designs of dragons amidst the clouds were completely covered the turtle.

Cloisonné, commonly known as “Jingtailan”, also known as “Falan”, is an advanced technique of luxurious decoration with glassy glazes on metal surfaces. From the Yuan dynasty onward, the technique had been applied on the designs of a great variety of vessels, and they became the royal utensils during the Qing dynasty.

In ancient China, the elites attached extra weight to the ceremony, ornament, enjoyment of burning incense, except for caring about the actual functions of censers. Accordingly distinctive and interesting animal-shaped incense burners emerged in a variety of types; the auspicious mythical beasts included lu duan, unicorn, and the auspicious birds, included turtles, celestial cranes, peacocks, mandarin ducks, and so on.