50540566_p

A massive Vietnamese silver and copper-inlaid bronze censer, cover and stand. 20th century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2011

Of rectangular section, supported on four cabriole legs surmounted by mythical beast masks joined by lion mask aprons, the decoration all inlaid in silver, each side cast with a raised panel depicting scenes from folklore, the corners with stylized tho (longecity) characters, the sides fitted with seperately-cast scrolling cloud-form handles, one side inlaid with characters reading Bao Dai ngu nien (fifth year of Bao Dai), corresponding to 1930, the other side with four characters reading phuc loc tho khang (blessings, emoluments, longevity and health), the sides of the cover decorated with alternating cutout or stylized inlaid tho characters, below a honeycomb band centered with shaped reserves enclosing ribbon-tied fans and leafy or flowering stalks, surmounted by a lion finial, all supported on a stand with lion mask aprons and an openwork central panel surrounded by ribbon-tied fans and books; 34 in. (86.4 cm.) high - Estimate $20,000 - $30,000

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Part I and Part II Including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, 24 - 25 March 2011, New York, Rockefeller Plaza. www.christies.com