Burning incense seems to have been a feature of almost all ancient Western and Eastern religions. References to the ritual use of incense appear in numerous sources: the Indian Vedas, Egyptian tomb paintings and texts, early dynastic Chinese writings, central and Southeast Asian Buddhist temples, 6th century Japan ceremonies, Greek and Roman rituals and in both the Old and New Testaments. Many inheritors of these cultural wellsprings today continue to burn incense for spiritual, medicinal, or simply pleasurable purposes. Incense was made of various natural materials depending on its specific origin. Sarsaparilla seed, frankincense, sandalwood, agarwood, cypress, cassia, cinnamon, styrax and myrrh were among the most common elements. The religious and domestic purification rites brought a universe of ritual utensils in many sizes, shapes, and artistic merit. Our unmarked antique bronze duck, either of Chinese or Japanese origin, was designed to be filled with sand or ground charcoal to anchor burning incense sticks or chunks of formed resin. Our censor's minimalist interpretation of the duck form, smooth surface, and mellowed patina all correspond to its primary function of encouraging spiritual purification, contemplation, and healing. Condition: Normal surface wear. Dimensions: 5" x 10" x 3".