Gold and Silver-Plating Boshan Censer

 Gold and Silver-Plating Boshan Censer

Boshan Censer is a bronze censer in the Han Dynasty in China. The external shape of the censer is just like a stretching mountain with decoration of cloud shape lines, immortals, animals, which is similar to an immortals' mountain on the sea, so its name is originated. The censer is comprised of three parts including the body, cover and base, and its internal part is hollow and the incense can be burned here. The ancient people used it to smoke clothes, quilts and for praying. When the incense is fumed by the charcoal fire, the smoke goes out from the holes on the body slowly, giving you a feeling as if in a fairy land. In the early period, the Boshan Censer was without any decoration in the external appearance. Later with the development of the processing technology, gold and silver were plated in the external appearances, making it pragmatic and elegant. In addition, Boshan Censer was quite popular in the Han Dynasty and there were many imitated works in the following dynasties.

Among the Boshan Censers excavated up to now, the two gold & sliver-plating Boshan Censers discovered in a royal tomb in the West Han Dynasty in 1968 in Mancheng County, Hebei Province are the most delicate. Although in the Qin and Han Dynasties, the bronze manufacture industry had gradually lost its dominant position, succeeding the bronze manufacture processing in the previous dynasty, a lot of precious art works came into being. The two Boshan Censers redisplays the bronze art in the Western Han period by its marvelous design and super processing.

One of the aforesaid two Boshan Censers is inlaid with the supernal animal lines, stretching high and low hills on the body and cover, and smooth gold-plating clouds lines on the mountain body. Among the undulating hills, there are tigers, leopards, monkeys and boars roam on the mountains with hunters hunting here and there. There are three dragons flying in the waves in the censer plate. Only 26cm in height, this censer embraces the wide universe in seas and mountains and the vivid mountains and paintings make it a marvelous and superb product. Now it is collected in Hebei Provincial Museum.