Bronze Chinese Incense Burner, similar to Boxer


Bronze Chinese Incense Burner, similar to Boxer


A bronze statue that likely functioned as an incense burner, similar in appearance to Pacific University's qilin "Boxer" mascot. This statue appears to be a 19th or 20th century Chinese (or possibly Japanese?) work depicting an unknown mythological creature, possibly a "Denglong." Its features include: cone-shaped ears; fish-like scales on its back, chest and legs; clawed feet; a mane and tail; protruding black eyes on short stalks; a single horn with two branches on its forehead; a dog-like snout; a fish-like or frog-like mouth; and a dragon-like crest of scales running down its backbone. It is similar to a Qilin, except for the fact that its feet have claws rather than hooves, and it has no whiskers. The statue's head was connected to the body with a hinge (now broken), inside of which incense could be placed, so that the smoke would come out of its nose and mouth. The tail is removable, probably so that ash could be removed. One ear has become loose but still attaches to the body. The statue measures 8.5" high, 4" wide and 10" long.

The statue resembles the bronze qilin incense burner nicknamed "Boxer," which later became Pacific University's official mascot. In the 1950s, the Boxer statue was circulating among Pacific U. students, who would periodically bring out the statue for a brawl-like contest over its possession. This similar bronze statue was collected by Roger K. Smith (Pacific University Class of 1953), probably in October 1951. The Smith Family kept this statue for 71 years, alongside a letter that Roger sent to his parents on Oct. 22, 1951, which stated: "When the package [containing the statue] comes, take good care of the contents. Even Myron [Roger's brother, another Pacific U. student] doesn't know that I came up with the thing. The poor boy sure took a beating. Came up in four parts." The statue was donated to Pacific University by the Smith Family in November, 2022. The copy of the letter that accompanied the statue is kept in the Archives subject files. For other materials related to the Smith Family, see the LeRoy and Reatha Smith Papers (Pacific University Archives, MS.48).



Date: Display





1 statue: 8.5" x 4" x 10"




Still Image