Although the crackled glaze and brown dressing of the white porcelain body, visible at the rim, bosses and feet, are aimed at evoking Song dynasty prototypes, this shape, which is often referred to as yu lou ('fish basket'), does not have any Song dynasty models, and appears to have been developed in the Yongzheng reign.
Two censers of this form with a crackled guan-type glaze and of Qianlong mark and period are in the Zande Lou Collection, formed by J.M. Hu, and were included in the exhibition Qing Imperial Monochromes. The Zande Lou Collection, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2005, cat. no. 31; two others from the J.M. Hu collection, of different sizes, were sold in our New York rooms, 4th June 1985, lots 60 and 61. Another crackle-glazed Qianlong censer of this form, described as imitating 'Ru' ware and called hua nang (flower purse), is illustrated in Geng Baochang, Ming Qing ciqi jianding [Appraisal of Ming and Qing porcelain], Hong Kong, 1993, fig. 456, with a line drawing of the form, p. 265, fig. 452: 4, where the author states, p. 267, that in the Yongzheng period this shape often had a ring foot, that in the Qianlong period it was also made with sky-blue glaze, and that copies of the Republican period have a thick body and glaze and are comparatively coarse.
A censer of this form of Yongzheng mark and period with a teadust-brown glaze is illustrated in Geng Baochang, ed., Gugong Bowuyuan cang Qingdai yuyao ciqi [Porcelains from the Qing dynasty imperial kilns in the Palace Museum collection], Beijing, 2005, vol. 1, part 2, pl. 13.
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