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.