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Chinese Banner Holder

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China Anonymous, Chinese
Chinese Banner Holder, c. 1750-1800
Semiprecious stones on Copper
10 1/2 in. x 8 3/4 in. x 8 3/4 in. (26.67 cm x 22.23 cm x 22.23 cm)


Object Type: Metalwork
Technique: Hammering (metal)
Creation Place: Asia, China
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Dorothy Adler Routh
Accession Number: 73.3.5


Commentary
This object is termed a "repoussé," a form of early ware which preceded champlevé and cloisonné. "Repoussé" means "modelled." This piece of elaborate holloware was formed from sheet copper by being hammered into shape from the back side in several sections with patterns in relief. These sections were then joined into a single complete piece. Melted pitch was poured into the vessel, after which further hammering and punch work was done from the outside. The pitch was heated and removed, and finally "galleries" for setting the stones, and decorative elements were soldered on. The piece was then gilded, and the stones were set.

Marks
There are no marks, but the bottom has an engraved design of a dorje in the center.

Medium
Repoussé formed copper, gilt, and decorated with precious and semi-precious stones including lapis lazuli, turquoise, carnelian, jade, and malachite.

Object Description
Chinese repoussé formed (see commentary) gilt copper banner holder with twin stylized quail decoration. The piece has yin and yang symbols at the base with swords and clouds. The quality and elaborateness of the design mark it as being from the reign of Ch'ien Lung. The object is decorated with precious and semi-precious jewels including lapis lazuli, turquoise, carnelian, jade, and malachite.

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