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white heron's picture
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I think rather than being a stand alone incense burner, the chains would indicate this is a censor or, more likely, given its weight, an incense burner or candle holder from a temple. First impressions lead one to believe it could be Chinese, with the presence of phoenix and dragon, but looking again you can clearly see rats climbing towards the shape of a temple.  There is a famous temple in India overrun by about 20,000 rats where worshippers believe the rats are an incarnation of goddess Karni Mata. Maybe it has associations with that temple, or was sold from a nearby market? 

 

Lovejoy's picture
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Very Interesting piece, I would agree it's origins is most likely India, Some pieces really need a physical appraisal, especially  vey unusual ones like this. I'd suggest contacting a local auctioneer for a referral to an appraisal that specializes in items like this.

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