국립중앙박물관 NATIONAL MUSEUM OF KOREA

Highlights
Bronze Incense Burner with Silver Inlay from Cheonggoksa Temple
  • Culture/Period

    Joseon Dynasty

  • Materials

    Metal - Copper Alloy

  • Category

    life in society - life in ceremony - religious ceremonies - the smoke of incense

  • Dimensions

    H. 39.0cm

  • Accession Number

    Deoksu 3103

Buddhist rites often require specialized utensils and accoutrement, so ritual implements are typically classified by their function. One function is the making of offerings, most commonly of incense, flowers, water, or food. Such offerings are presented in a variety of containers, such as incense burners, flower baskets, flower vases, and candlesticks. The three most essential for Buddhist rituals are flower vases, candlesticks, and incense burners. Among the numerous different types of incense burners, this particular style of wide-rimmed bowl with a tall, flared base is known as a hyangwan (香垸). The inscription on the burner relates that it came from Cheonggoksa Temple in Jinju, which was dedicated to Queen Sindeok, the second wife of King Taejo (the first king of the Joseon Dynasty). Queen Sindeok died in 1396, and this incense burner was made in 1397 as an offering to her. The main material for the burner is bronze, but the patterns are inlaid in silver. The extensive delicate patterning covering the ware includes a network of lotus vines and the Chinese character beom (梵, which roughly represents the inclusive contents of Buddhist sutras, thus conveying ultimate truth).