Liuzhou Museum ed: BIAN WU: CHONGZHEN SHIQI DE XUANDE LU. (The Discernment of Objects: Ming Dynasty 'Xuande' Incense Burners from the Chongzhen Reign). Liuzhou, 2019. 186 pp. Full page colour plates throughout. 34x25 cm. Half cloth.
Beautifully-produced catalogue of a very short-lived (8 days!) and very focussed exhibition at Liuzhou Museum in Guangxi province in China. Featured 31 very fine examples of xuande-style bronzes dating from the final reign of the Ming dynasty, that of the Chongzhen Emperor (r.1611-1644). Despite his reign seeing the fall of the Ming dynasty, this was a time when material and literati culture in China was at a high point and this is reflected in the quality of these bronzes. Their style emulates bronze incense burners produced during the Ming Xuande reign (1425-1435), when production of such incense burners was considered to be at the peak of achievement and sophistication. Ever since, 'xuande' bronzes have been widely copied and this catalogue is of much use as a visual reference and for research into such bronzes accepted as dating from the end of the Ming dynasty. Twelve of the bronzes exhibited have basemark seals with Chongzhen cyclical dates, 8 with Chongzhen period seals/hall marks and 10 with Xuande base marks. A final and notable exhibit was an incense burner from the collection of Wang Shixiang. The bronzes come from the collection of Liuzhou Museum and members of the Ming and Qing Xuande Incense Burners Collectors Society. The majority previously unpublished. Illustrated throughout with excellent photography. All bronzes shown in their entirety and in multiple close-up views including, of course, bases and marks. The bronzes are shown near life-size, actual size or slightly larger than life. Text in Chinese. Very difficult to obtain and already out-of-print.
Subjects: Bronzes Scholar’s Studio
Available, as of: 20/09/2021
Was item 474 in printed List 201.
Record produced by Hanshan Tang Books, www.hanshan.com.