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Chinese biscuit egg and spinach incense burner, Kangxi (1662-1722), modelled as a potted plant in front of rockwork and decorated in brown, green, white and yellow overglaze enamels
Egg and spinach decoration was made in imitation of the Tang dynasty 'three colour' sancai lead glaze. The Tang glaze was achieved by applying copper, iron and cobalt oxide lead glazes onto an earthenware body and was used for items intended for burial, including figures of warriors, horses and camels. During the Qing dynasty the sancai-inspired 'egg and spinach' glaze was used to decorate a wide variety of objects, including bowls, vases, figures and incense burners.