Bringer of good fortune
Used for burning incense, herbs or powders on a charcoal tablet.
Problably originating from China, it has a respectable age; the copper metalwork is in good condition but has an almost black patina, the inside of the lid shows heavy soot deposits from extensive use.
Overall in good condition but could use a good cleaning (however this would somewhat deminishes its charme).
It combines several symbolic elements.
On the lid are two horned dragons (male and female, representing Yin and Yang), semi-schrouded in clouds, a typical Taoistic element.
A third dragon is styled in the form of a knob on top of the lid, unknown symbolism.
On the belly you see again two dragon this time in water and guarding a Flaming Pearl. The 'Flaming Pearl' is recognised both by Buddhists and Hindus as the crystallisation of light, transcendent wisdom, spiritual consciousness and spiritual essence of the universe, truth, life and wisdom. If the dragons lose the pearl, they are left helpless and incapable of action.
Dragons occupy a very important position in Chinese mythology; they show up in arts, literature, poetry, architecture, songs, and many aspects of the Chinese conscience. The origin of Chinese dragons is unknown, but certainly pre-dates the written history.
The Chinese Dragon, or Lung, symbolizes power and excellence, valiancy and boldness, heroism and perseverance, nobility and divinity. A dragon overcomes obstacles until success is his. They are energetic, decisive, optimistic, intelligent and ambitious. They rule both the heavens (clouds) and water, i.e. they control the climate and waterways.
They bring wealth and good luck. Chinese Taoist symbolism revered the dragon as a spirit of "the Way", coiling among clouds, revealing only parts of itself, they bring eternal changes.
In the water we see what we presume are Fu dogs, known guardians of all material things.
The last element is a single row lotuspetals throne; clearly a Buddistic symbol and not commonly associated with dragons and Fu dogs.
Interior design suggestions
Use this fortune bringer as a decorative element in any room or use it for it was intended, burning incense.
Height: 17 cm
Diameter: 11 cm
Weight: 1100 grams