"The end of the Ming dynasty, for many a period of decadence and decline, saw a surprising variety of new creations and proves to be a much underrated period which produced fine and often highly original metalwork. Many pieces show an uninhibited display of differing designs and unusual shapes which probably make this period the most individualistic of all the later periods. Because of the diversity of appearance, sometimes rather fancy, many of these pieces are wrongly ascribed to the eighteenth century, rather than one hundred years earlier".
The archaistic ding form of the current incense burner, which fits with Hausmann's description, is reminiscent of Wanli dated porcelain examples. See a Wanli blue and white examples of similar compressed form with handles curving upwards, from the Edward T. Chow collection, sold in these, rooms 19th May 1981, lot 422, and an example dated to 1586, sold in our New York rooms, 13th September 2017, lot 63. The current incense burner is particularly innovative with its elegant 'C'-shaped handles.
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