Wanli / Tianqi

A Blue And White Censer

明晚期 青花 海水龙纹 香炉

Wanli / Tianqi period, 1572 - 1627


Diameter 16.2 cm. Height 12.2 cm.


This late Ming porcelain censer is painted with a pair of dragons in pursuit of flaming pearls above mountain peaks and crashing waves divided by three moulded mythical beast heads. The cylindrical body rising to an inverted dished rim, the base and the well are unglazed.


This censer is illustrated in Daisy Lion-Goldschmidt's La porcelaine Ming, p.230.


Daisy Lion-Goldschmidt was a longstanding expert of Chinese porcelain. She was first curator at the Louvre and later at the Guimet Museum as the Asian collections were redistributed after WW II. She was also a prolific author and her works include the bestselling book on Ming porcelain in which this censer was illustrated. She dated this censer to the beginning of the 17th century and used it as a nice example of symmetrical Ming blue and white porcelain pieces before the genre develops into the Transitional period during which blue and white porcelain becomes more free-styled.


Compare the similar censer, Sotheby’s St George Street Sale, on 10 November 2017, Chinese Art, London, Lot 252.




Further images



Collection of L. Wannieck (1875-1955).

Collection of Daisy Lion-Goldschmidt (1903-1998).

Bertrand de Lavergne, Paris, 5 June 2010.

Private French collection.

Private German collection.




Daisy Lion-Goldschmidt, LA PORCELAINE MING, Fribourg, November 1978, fig. 234, p. 230.




Brûle-parfum en porcelaine bleu blanc, Chine, dynastie Ming