A gilt bronze duck incense burner achieved $3.7m in a sale of Chinese bronzes at Sotheby's Hong Kong on April 8.
The exceptionally well cast lot carries a Xuande reign mark that dates it to between 1426 and 1435.
It's one of a number of duck-form censers produced during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).
Contemporary poet Zhu Youdun wrote in his One Hundred Lyric Poems of the Yuan Court: "The gold duck burns the remaining midnight fragrance. Only then do the ladies of the imperial family try on the Yue-weave skirts."
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