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About the object
Chinese blanc de chine ‘Marco Polo’ censer and cover, Kangxi (1662-1722), the moulded octagonal body decorated with panels of relief decoration containing flower scrolls and geometric motifs, on eight cabriole legs, with four loop handles projecting from the rim, the slightly domed cover similarly decorated with scrolling prunus blossoms in relief with intricate open work and surmounted by eight raised florets to the corners; diameter: 4 3/8in. (11 cm.). Censers of this type are associated with Marco Polo, as it was a popular belief in the 19th century that they were brought to the Treasury of San Marco in Venice by the explorer, before passing via the Davillier and Grandidier Collections to the Musée Guimet in Paris. A similar Kangxi censer is illustrated in Donnelly, P.J., ‘Blanc de Chine’, pl. 16.; another example complete with a stand is illustrated in Howard, D.S. & Ayers, J., ‘China for the West’, p. 93, pl. 53; see also the catalogue of an ‘Exhibition of Te Hua Porcelain’ (Hong Kong, 1975), Cat. No.s 51 & 52; Pierson, S. ‘Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art’, p.80, pl.78; and Ayers, J., ‘Chinese and Japanese Works of Art in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen’, Vol. I, p.63.