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Taisho Shishi Dragon Bronze Censer

Antique Japanese Bronze Censer
Foo Dog Dragon
Phoenix Incense Burner
Taisho Era, Circa: 1912-1925

H 16 in.(41cm), W 7 in.(18cm), D 5 in.(12.5cm)
Condition: very good

A fanciful and well cast bronze censer, combining ancient motifs with decorative carving and hand chased details. In keeping with the ritual origins of such bronzes, the mythical creatures are part of the design. Here the taotie mask of China is present atop each leg of the censer. but has transformed into a garuda-lion, one of the three Victorious Creatures of Harmony. Supporting the handles are two single-horned makaras, derived from Indian iconography. On the body are ornamental scenes of peony blossoms and buds with darting birds. Eight pennant shaped reliefs around the rim of the lid represent taotie masks, with the top of the censer mounted with a hoofed , one-horned dragon-foo dog, with menacing scowl and open jaws, its tail bristling with five tufts of fur. The censer is in excellent condition, with a deep umber patina illumined by burnished areas of coppery gold.


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