Antique Censer with Six Taoist Patriarchs
AGE: – Exact age unknown, definitely antique, more than one hundred years
CONSTRUCTION: – Brass
HEIGHT: – 44cm
WIDTH: – 40cm
WEIGHT: – 4.25kg
#118 PRICE: CONTACT
This Antique Censer with Six Taoist Patriarchs perched around the body of the censer is highly detailed with five Taoist Buddhist figures in relief strategically placed around the outside of the burner, and one figure on the lid seated at the feet of a Phoenix with wings spread and two dragons snaking their way down the side of the burner. Plum blossoms (prunus) and foliage are dispersed between the figures.
The most well-known of the Patriarchs, Hung Neng (Liu Tsu) is seated with one leg bent, wearing a crown. There is a mark on the body with two Chinese letters “Da Wang” which translates into English, meaning King, Magnate, or person having expert skill in something.
Myth and legend related to the Chinese Phoenix date back at least 4000 years, this bird has been depicted in motifs on Shang Dynasty pottery as well as bronzes from this period.
The Phoenix in China is referred to as Feng Huang, “Feng”, a male bird, and “Huang” a female bird, the two words over time were merged together. There are a variety of meanings associated with Feng Huang, it symbolizes Yin and Yang, represents balance and harmony, virtue, and prosperity, and is often present in some form or another at royal ceremonies and weddings.