This imposing and brilliantly enameled incense burner was most likely the centerpiece for a five-piece altar garniture, flanked by a pair of candlesticks and gu
vases. Of ding
form, based on the shape of archaic ritual vessels of the Shang dynasty, its cauldron-like shape supported on three curved legs reflects the predilection in the Qing dynasty for vessels in the form of archaic bronzes of the Shang and Zhou dynasties. Although altar wares could be manufactured in a variety of materials and interpretations of the floral scroll motif, the original profile of the archaic models was retained.
Compare a pink-ground censer of the same design and period, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28th April 1997, lot 774.