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Past Exhibitions

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  • Great Wisdom
  • Korean Abstraction
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  • Ceramics

Metallurgy: Great Wisdom

  • Crown and Ornaments
  • Dragon-Headed Banner Staff
  • Incense Burner
  • Roof Ornament in the Shape of a Dragon Head
  • My/Our Country
Incense Burner

Incense Burner


Numerous metal incense burners with a deep basin, broad projecting rim, and trumpetlike stand were produced during the Goryeo Dynasty. Such ritual vessels were lavishly decorated with various designs such as grass, flowers, dragons, phoenixes, clouds, lotus blossoms, the pearl of good luck, or arabesques in gold or silver inlay. The censer shown here has four ogee-shaped panels, each containing a dragon and a phoenix against a background of flowers, other plants. The side surface of the stand is ornamented with floral scrolls, and an inscription on the base indicates that the censer was made at Heungwang Temple in Gaeseong, in a gichuck year which would mean that burner was made in either 1229 or 1289. The elegance of its form and decoration, noted especially for the pictorial quality of its design, is a characteristic also seen in the censers from Pyochung Temmple in Miryang and from Tongdo Temple in Yangsan.

Goryeo Dynasty, Dated 1229 (1289)
Bronze inlaid with silver
H 38.1, D 30.3(mouth)/21.6(base)cm
National Treasure No. 214