Subject:Re: Bronze Incense Burner—Help Identify The Mark please?
Posted By: BILL H Sat, Dec 16, 2017
The mark, shown upside down, says "Xuande Nian Zhi" (Made during the Xuande Reign". The Xuande Emperor reigned from 1426-35 during the Ming Dynasty. Some of the more coveted bronzes of the Ming era were made when he ruled, and remained as inspiration for later generations to try to copy. This is an admirable decorative bronze, though not one of the finest, as it appears not to have been cast entirely by the lost wax method, but was fabricated of separate components for assembly by soldering, as indicated by what I perceive to be acid streaks from the latter process beneath the feet of the dragon, as well as other clues around the perimeter of the dragon seal on its base.
I'd estimate this censer to date from a decade before to a decade after World War II, which conflict and it's lead-up civil war in China produced a great deal of spent brass for use by cottage-industry bronze foundries in China.