This magnificent incense burner, or koro, won the highest award for artistic quality and perfect workmanship in the Barcelona Exhibition of 1888. The sculpture was created by a team of five artists lead by Suzuki Chokichi, one of the greatest metal artists in 19th century Japan, who produced objects specifically for display at international expositions. The events were hosted in cities around the world and provided opportunities to showcase excellent national craftsmanship, improve international relations and educate and entertain the public. Although it is not certain that George Walter Vincent Smith attended the fairs, museum records indicate that a number of his purchases won prizes in the shows. A similar, but much larger koro by Chokichi was displayed at the 1878 Paris Universal Exhibition and is now owned by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.