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17C Chinese Tibetan Iron Silver & Gold Inlaid Censer Bowl

17C Chinese Tibetan Iron Silver & Gold Inlaid Censer Bowl
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17th Century Sino Tibetan Iron Silver & Gold Inlaid Censer with Goldfish & Bat

It is 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) tall by 10.6 inches (27 cm) wide. It is 1,768 gram.

It has oxidation, rust, tarnished metal, loss of silver, one panel is missing a nail and loose, missing nails, small chips at the panels, missing pieces, firing holes, small gaps, and surface wears and scratches.

Please email for more photos.


This type of metal work was produced in exceedingly high quality and vast number in Tibet as early as the 14th and 15th century. Iron is one of the five treasures of Tibetan Buddhism, amongst gold, silver, copper and brass. Hence it is not surprising that the Tibetans made so many pieces of lowly iron and lavishly decorated them with gold and silver. The unique technology has been known as"damascening" to Europeans, but called "Derge" in China, the name of the town through which the metalwork was brought to the China-proper. Different from the common inlaid-works, "Derge" works have their surface of the wrought iron abraded and then gold and/or silver beaten on in the pattern of decoration desired. Known pieces with Chinese reign-marks usually bear the Yongle, Xuande, and Qianlong marks. Qianlong emperor, especially, commissioned a group of Tibetans to produce vessels and objects of daily use, such as brush pots and plates, besides those for the traditional ceremonial and religious purpose. Compare a globular jar and cover also from the Wanli period, illustrated by Rose Kerr in Later Chinese Bronzes, London, 1990, p. 55, no. 44, from the Victoria and Albert Museum ref no 108-1876. The revitted ornaments resemble those on this lot. Kerr further suggests such metalwork was produced by armourers due to the rivetting technique used in its assembly. 註: 此類金屬器早在十四十五世紀藏人已大量制作,並且工藝極其高明。鐵是藏傳佛教五大金屬之一,所以以鐵為身並鑲嵌金銀的藏傳金屬器傳世屢見不鮮。 其鑲嵌工藝在歐洲被稱為"damascening" [金屬絲編織],而在中國被稱為"德格",一藏川邊境的文化交流重鎮,傳此種金屬器便是由德格傳入中原。與傳統金屬絲編織所不同,"德格"器是先將鍛鐵表面磨切出凹陷花紋,然後再以金銀捶打入內。已知的此類金屬器具有明清年號款的無多,基本以永宣及乾隆朝為主。乾隆帝甚至邀請藏人入京打造"德格"器,並將其運用從宗教禮祭衍生至皇家日用。 比較 Rose Kerr 的《中國晚期銅器》中介紹的一球形鐵鑄有蓋器物(英國維多利亞與埃伯特博物館館藏 108-1876),同是萬歷朝物品,運用及其相似的鑄造鑲錯技術。見書頁55,圖版44,倫敦, 1990。


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