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Incense Burner (Xianglu)

A work made of gray earthenware with polychrome painting and openwork decoration.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gray earthenware with polychrome painting and openwork decoration.


Western Han dynasty, 206 BCE–9 CE


probably from Hunan province

About this artwork

This incense burner has a stemmed cup and a domed, openwork cover pierced with geometric patterns. Its design is distinctive to ceramics from south-central China that were made during the Western Han dynasty (206BCE–9 CE). It was probably modeled on a bronze incense burner cast with a perforated lid for the release of fragrant smoke. Other common forms from the Han dynasty are in the case to the right.


On View, Gallery 133


Arts of Asia


Incense Burner (Xianglu)


China (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

206 BCE–9 CE


Gray earthenware with polychrome painting and openwork decoration


14.3 × 14.4 cm (5 5/8 × 5 11/16 in.); Diam.: 14.4 cm (5 11/16 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Russell Tyson

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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