Incense, 1747

Incense Giant

Incense Lama 1

Incense Lama 2

Incense Lama Courtyard

The YongHeGong Lama Temple is a Tibetan Buddhist lamasery in Beijing. Built in 1694, the structure became the official residence of Prince Yin Zhen before he became Emperor Yongzheng in 1723. After Yongzheng’s death, his son and successor converted the residence into a lamasery. The bronze tripod (“ding”) incense burner shown above was cast circa 1747. It stands almost 14 feet high and bears imagery of dragons chasing the pearl of wisdom and truth.


The burner stands there today with a sign asking tourists not to throw coins into the burner. However, this is thought to bring good luck, so tourists ignore the sign and pelt the burner with coins, using a priceless work of sacred art as a carnival attraction.



2 thoughts on “Incense, 1747

  1. Good Evening, I am an artisanal incense maker living in Québec. I have been enjoying the artwork on your blog. Do you have any idea what plants and/or resins were used in this huge incense burner and on what occasions it might have been fired up?
    Merci ++++++

    • Hello! I’m delighted that you’ve found the images and have been enjoying them. I’m afraid I don’t know what kind of incense was used in this burner. My only experience with such a larger burner was at Kamakura, Japan, and it was filled with sand to hold up stick incense. Not sure if this one would have used charcoal and powdered incense, or not…

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