The quality of the enamelling on this rare small incense burner is very high. It is conceived in an unusually intricate, baroque style and executed in a particularly lavish technique. The wires are used as if in a drawing, not only outlining and enclosing the colours, but also delineating detail within monochrome cells. The three lotus blooms are different, composed of variously rendered and coloured petals. Similarly complex lotus flowers can be seen on an incense burner from the collections of Mrs M.J. Shepherd and Frederick Knight, now in the Uldry collection, illustrated in Brinker & Lutz, Helmut Brinker and Albert Lutz, Chinese Cloisonné: The Pierre Uldry Collection
, London, 1989 (German edition Zurich, 1985), col. pl. 15, and sold in our London rooms, 15th June 1982, lot 129.
Compare also the enamelling of the lotus flowers and scrolling foliage on a cloisonné enamel beaker vase from the Qing court collection, preserved in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in the Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Metal-bodied Enamel Ware, Hong Kong, 2002, pl. 25.