Xuzhou Han Culture Academic

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Collection of fine works

Bronze incense burner in the shape of Bo Moungtain (boshan)
Heritage information

◇ Heritage No. :

◇ Collection Name:Bronze incense burner in the shape of Bo Moungtain (boshan)

◇ Historical date:Western Han dynasty

◇ Collection Size:Height:12.4cm Diameter:12cm

◇ Collection Source:Excavated at Tomb M2 at Dongdongshan in 1982

Introduction of cultural relics

       Incense burners were widley used in the Han dynasty and were cast in various forms. This  bronze burner is designed in the shape of Boshan, one of the 3 imaginary celestial mountains in Daoist myth. The Boshan  burner was very popular in the Han dynasty, coinciding with the practice of seeking immorality. When used, the smoke issuing from the burner would resemble the mist and clouds that surrounded mountain peaks.

       A Boshan incense burner consist of a conical top bearing irregular mountain-like projections, a bowl to hold incense, a stem and sometimes a plate serving as a base. The Song dynasty scholar Lu dalin in his Illustrated Enquiries into Antiquity(Kaogutu,1092AD) the aymbolism and functions of the shape of the coincal top of and plate: The incense burner symbolizes Boshan in the sea. The plate underearth is filled with water, moisturing and perfuming the air. The water in the plate resembles the sea surrounding the moutain.