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  5. Ko-Kiyomizu Lotus-Shaped Incense Burner with Polychrome Overglaze Enamels
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Ko-Kiyomizu Lotus-Shaped Incense Burner with Polychrome Overglaze Enamels

  • Attributed to Nonomura Ninsei
  • Height: 26.4 cm
  • Mouth Diameter: 24.2 cm
  • Base Diameter: 20.2 cm
  • Edo Period (17th Century)
  • Important Cultural Property
  • (Hokongo-in Temple, Kyoto)

The forms and motifs of this incense burner are rich in Buddhist imagery. The body of this burner represents a lotus seed, its lid a lotus leaf, and its foot a lotus flower. The lid is decorated with an openwork Sanskrit letter symbolizing the deity Thousand-Armed Kannon (Sahasrabhujavalokitesvara). The lotus-flower base is decorated with Buddhist dharma wheels (rinpo) and arabesque vines, while the lid's knob has a Buddhist ritual vajra and lotus pod.

The lead-based overglaze enamels include those in turquoise and reddish-purple. Supplementary decorations are painted in gold.

The original box is inscribed in ink with the words, "Large lotus incense burner by Nisei." The bottom of the box says "Made on July 28 in the Tempo Era, due to damage." This incense burner is attributed to Ninsei but does not bear his seal. It is a typical example of Ko-Kiyomizu ware with polychrome overglaze enamels, representative of early Kyoto pottery.

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