212
212
An Arabic-Inscribed Bronze Incense Burner
Cast Mark and Period of Zhengde
Estimate
2,500,0003,500,000
LOT SOLD. 3,160,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
212
An Arabic-Inscribed Bronze Incense Burner
Cast Mark and Period of Zhengde
Estimate
2,500,0003,500,000
LOT SOLD. 3,160,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection: Later Bronzes

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Hong Kong

An Arabic-Inscribed Bronze Incense Burner
Cast Mark and Period of Zhengde
of deep rounded form with gently curving ‘S’-shaped sides, supported on a high circular foot, the exterior cast in relief with a continuous design of four circular panels enclosing an Arabic invocation, together reading afdal al-dhikr la ilaha illa allah  ('The most virtuous supplication is: There is no god but The God'), all against a ground of stylised scrolling lotus, above and below narrow bands of stylised floral scroll at the shoulder and foot, the base with a band of stylised lotus petals which are echoed, upside down, the footrim evenly serrated,  the foot cast with a recessed rectangular cartouche enclosing a kaishu six-character Zhengde mark, gilt-bronze stand from the Qing dynasty, Qianlong period, pierced and decorated with lingzhi
height 10.2 cm., 4 in. 
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Hugh M. Moss Ltd., London, prior to 1975.

Catalogue Note

This boldly cast incense burner is amongst the finest quality of all Zhengde reign-marked bronze wares, many of which incorporate Arabic inscriptions in their designs in keeping with the emperor's religious leanings, and one of those made in substantial cast bronze rather than beaten copper. For another Zhengde reign-marked  bronze incense burner and cover with stand preserved in the Palace Museum, Beijing, of rectangular form with similar Arabic invocation and cast reign mark, see Power and Glory: Court Arts of China's Ming Dynasty, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 2008, cat. no. 110. 

There are other forms of Zhengde reign-marked bronze incense burners, such as the Zhengde reign-marked straight-sided incense burner sold in these rooms, 4th April 2012, lot 143.  However, no other bowl of this shape appears to be recorded, although given the multiple forms of incense burners in the Ming and their popularity, it seems more likely that this was intended as an incense burner and not as a bowl for some other purpose. 

It is inscribed in sini script, a Chinese Islamic calligraphic form for the Arabic script, developed in the early Ming dynasty. It can refer to any type of Chinese Islamic calligraphy, but is commonly used to refer to script with thick and tapered effects, such as on the current box. It is used extensively in mosques in Eastern China, and to a lesser extent in Gansu, Ningxia and Shaanxi. Early examples of the script date to the early Ming dynasty, notably the mihrab of the Niujue mosque in Beijing. The mosque itself was founded in 996 during the Liao dynasty, but rebuilt in 1442 during the Zhengtong era.

Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection: Later Bronzes

|
Hong Kong