Mountain-Shaped Incense Burner (Boshan Xianglu)

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.

Date:

Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 220), 1st century B.C./A.D.

Artist:

China

About this artwork

During the Han dynasty, fantastical beliefs in immortality and exotic lands inspired the earliest three-dimensional landscapes. The conical lid of this incense burner, shaped like towering peaks, is associated with the mountainous Isles of the Blessed. These islands were described as the realm of immortal beings (xian) in the myth, superstition, and magic widespread in Han Dynasty Religion. Fragrant smoke wafting through holes in the lid of this incense burner would evoke such a mist-shrouded utopia.

On View

Asian Art, Gallery 133

Title

Mountain-Shaped Incense Burner (Boshan Xianglu)

Origin

China

Date

99 AD

Medium

Bronze

Dimensions

H. 21.3 cm (8 3/8 in.); diam. 19.4 cm (7 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection

Reference Number

1926.1864

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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