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Incense Burner


Meiji period (1868-1912)


Incense Burner


Late 19th c.


Bronze, gold inlay


53.3 cm (h.), 19.2 cm (diam.)


Gift of Dr. William H. Pugsley, inv. 1981.Ee.3b


Archeology and World Cultures

Along with ceramics, metalwork played an important role in the newly established Meiji government’s policy to promote industry. Exquisitely crafted bronze vases and iron ornaments were made exclusively to be exhibited at multiple international fairs in the late nineteenth century. Metalwork had traditionally been made by artisans for Buddhist sculptures or for arms and armour. The drastic social changes in mid- to late nineteenth-century Japan deprived them of work. Many skilled artisans turned to the production of decorative pieces to be exported to the West. These lavish, elaborately made metal items became highly popular as part of the craze for things Japanese.

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