Mythical Kirin – Vintage Bronze Incense Burner


The Kirin is a hooved mythical chimera-type deity venerated throughout central and east Asia. Most resembling a giraffe, though often depicted with dragon-like features, the Kirin is considered a deeply magical creature and a symbol of good luck, fortuitous omens, protection, prosperity, and success. Though the name of this mythical creature is often translated into English as “unicorn” this is a misnomer as many depictions of Kirin have two horns, not one. They also possess a morphology and associated body of folklore that diverges considerably from its western counterpart. This sculpture, appearing to be made from bronze, has very detailed and skillful etching, and a wonderful patina that would place it sometime early in the last century.

In fine condition with slight traces of oxidation, this Kirin incense burner is 16.5 cm tall, roughly 25 cm long, and 16.5 cm at its widest point. The age is unknown but it appears to be from Meiji/ Taisho.