Censers of this fang ding shape are rare, although a comparable piece, which forms part of an altar set in the Pierre Uldry Collection, is illustrated in Helmut Brinker and Albert Lutz, Chinesisches Cloisonne - Die Sammlung Pierre Uldry, Zurich, 1985, cat. no. 267. Another related censer from the Heliot collection is illustrated in William Cohn, Chinese Art, London, 1930, pl. 24; and a smaller fang ding, part of an altar garniture and attributed to the first half of the seventeenth century, was included in the Exhibition Die Ware aus dem Teufelsland, Museum fur Kunsthandwerk, Frankfurt am Main, 1981, cat. no. 51, and illustrated on p. 106.
The present censer is closely related to a censer offered in our Hong Kong rooms, 29th November 1978, lot 442, inscribed with the hall mark Yong En Tang (Hall of Eterrnal Benevolence) indicating the location the vessel was made for. See also a fang ding sold in these rooms, 11th December 1979, lot 95, with a cover; and another sold at Christie's London, 14th December 1983, lot 363.
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