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Chinese Gourd-shaped Cloisonné Wine Container

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China Anonymous, Chinese
Chinese Gourd-shaped Cloisonné Wine Container, c. 1736-1796
Enamel on Bronze
26 in. x 43 1/4 in. x 43 1/4 in. (66.04 cm x 109.86 cm x 109.86 cm)


Object Type: Cloisonné
Technique: Cloisonné
Creation Place: Asia, China
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Dorothy Adler Routh
Accession Number: 73.3.10


Commentary
There are two conflicting dates on this piece: the appraiser's report of 1971 dates it to c. 1736-1796 (Ch'ien Lung's reign), while it is listed in the book written by the appraiser (Tomoo Ogita), and Richard Petterson in 1975 as 17th century.

Marks
There is an illegible engraving and an old label which is illegible on the bottom, as well as "13" in red on the bottom.

Medium
Multicolored enamels on gilt-bronze.

Object Description
Chinese gourd-shaped cloisonné wine bottle with a large gilded metal base and a removable lid (which is affixed to the bottle with wax). The entire bottle is decorated with multicolored enamels of scrolling lotuses and Buddhist symbols for the "Eight Precious Treasures” on a turquoise blue ground. This symbolic set of Buddhist objects is comprised of the royal canopy, parasol, vase, conch shell, double fish, endless knot, lotus flower, and wheel of law. The colored enamels are applied in a thin layer over the underglaze of turquoise enamel.

Two lion-head ring handles are applied to the sides of the double-gourd bottle. These gilt bronze Ormulu handles were especially popular during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor, who had a love for the ornate embellishments in French decorative art.

"Deep red and blue enamels indicate late 18th to early 19th c. fabrication; overall shape differs from earlier with smaller top and larger bottom." Chris Engle, MMcN

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