Such was the reverence for these wares that a large number of bronze censers made during the 17th and 18th centuries have honorific apocryphal marks to their base.
This example, with its original mallow-leaf stand measuring 10in (25cm) across, is one of a group of censers made in imitation of Song dynasty prototypes. It has an elaborate 20-character Xuande mark.
It emerged for sale with a descriptive catalogue description and an estimate of £200-300 at HRD Auction Rooms (20% buyer’s premium inc VAT) in Brading, Isle of Wight on December 10.
Spotted by multiple Far Eastern bidders, it was hammered down for £62,500.