Mounted incense burner

This curious object is composed of Chinese enameled porcelain in the form of a horse mounted on a gilt bronze base of curling leaves. On its back, a leafy vine supports a Japanese lacquer bowl and cover, which is further decorated with a red coral branch. In the 16th – 17th centuries, Chinese porcelain, Japanese lacquer, and exotic materials became fashionable in the West, and were primarily exported as curiosities and luxury goods. The exact function of this composite object is not very clear. It could be an incense burner, potpourri or merely a curiosity object.

European gilt-bronze and Japanese lacquer: second half 18th century
Porcelain: China, Jiangxi province, Jingdezhen; Lacquer: Japan; Gilt bronze: Europe
Object size: 26.2 x 14.8 x 10 cm
Accession No.
coral (material)
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum