Gilt bronze duck incense burner makes $3.7m at Sotheby's

A gilt bronze duck incense burner achieved $3.7m in a sale of Chinese bronzes at Sotheby's Hong Kong on April 8.

The exceptionally well cast lot carries a Xuande reign mark that dates it to between 1426 and 1435.

gilt bronze duck
The duck dates to the reign of the 15th century Xuande emperor

It's one of a number of duck-form censers produced during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).

Contemporary poet Zhu Youdun wrote in his One Hundred Lyric Poems of the Yuan Court: "The gold duck burns the remaining midnight fragrance. Only then do the ladies of the imperial family try on the Yue-weave skirts."

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