c1860 Chinese Bronze Censer with Qing Tongzhi Marks


A very good looking, Qing Dynasty, bronze twin handled censer, with tripod feet, in fine condition.

The circular censer is heavily cast, with thick walls. The reign mark forms part of the casting, within a recessed rectangle. It carries the four character seal mark of the Tongzhi Emperor (Tong zhi nien zhi). It is rare to come across Tongzhi period censers and the later copies tend to focus on the Ming and Qianlong period marks. The condition is good, with very minor surface abrasions. The surface has a mottled patina in the upper area and handles, possibly the result of flecked gilding, with a rich dark brown to the rest.

The Tongzhi Emperor (1856 – 1875), born Zaichun of the Aisin Gioro clan, was the tenth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the eighth Qing emperor to rule over China. His reign, from 1861 to 1875, which effectively lasted through his adolescence, was largely overshadowed by the rule of his mother, Empress Dowager Cixi. Although he had little influence over state affairs, the events of his reign gave rise to what historians call the "Tongzhi Restoration", an unsuccessful attempt to stabilise and modernise China.

Size: 16 x 11.5 cm (6 ¼ x 4 ½ inches)
Weight: 1291 g