A 'Dehua' 'Marco Polo' censer, cover and stand, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722)

Lot 287. A 'Dehua' 'Marco Polo' censer, cover and stand, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722). Estimate 6,000 — 8,000 USD.Photo: Sotheby's

the octagonal body molded in relief with panels of stylized lotus flowers and foliage and set with four loop handles, the pierced domed cover with prunus and surmounted by nine lotus buds, all raised on eight cabriole legs, the conforming stand similarly molded with panels of lotus around the exterior, the interior with a lotus spray encircled by leafy floral sprays, all raised on eight short ruyi feet (3) -Width of stand 7 1/4  in., 18.4 cm.

Provenance: The Dr. C.M. Franzero Collection.
Bluett & Sons, London, 1974.
Chait Galleries, New York.
Collection of C.P. Shatman.
Christie's New York, 1st December 1988, lot 266.

From the Collection of Richard Lehman Gray

Notes: Censers of this type have always been associated with Marco Polo, as it was a popular belief in the 19th century that they were brought to Venice by the explorer. A similar censer ascribed to the Kangxi period is illustrated in P.J. Donnelly, Blanc de Chine, London, 1969, pl. 16. A closely related example was included in the Exhibition of Te Hua Porcelain, Chinese University of Hong Kong Art Gallery, Hong Kong, 1975, cat. nos 51 and 52; and a similar example from the Mottahedeh collection was illustrated in David Howard and John Ayers, China for the West, vol. 1, London, 1978, pl. 53. A similar censer was sold in our London rooms, 10th November 2010, lot 345.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, New York, 13 sept. 2016, 10:30 AM