Four-lobed box (from incense set)


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 221

Introduced from Europe, the technique of painted enamel was also commonly used by Chinese makers to decorate local wares, such as this incense set. Three-piece sets like this one appeared in China no later than the thirteenth century and included censers to burn small pieces of incense over burning charcoal. The box would have contained incense woods or balls, and the bottle would have held a pair of chopsticks and a spatula for handling the incense materials. (Set includes (81.1.638a–c, .642, .637a, b)

Four-lobed box (from incense set), Painted enamel on copper alloy, China

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