This 19th century take on an archaic vessel is on sale at Hargesheimer on December 5 with a starting price of €800.

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The form of the 18in (45cm) high bronze incense burner, adorned with floral cloisonné work on a blue ground and with pierced bronze cloud decoration, was inspired by the ding vessel, which takes its name from the Chinese word for tripod.

This type of ritual vessel was known in ceramic form as early as the Neolithic Period and was later cast in bronze and was used in ceremonies offering food to the ancestors or as burial gifts.

In more recent times, it was a favoured design for incense burners, decorated, as in this case, with fortuitous symbols of bats, the Buddhist lions at the top of each foot and the imperial five-clawed dragon which adorns the intricate knob on the cover.

The starting price is €800.