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Revolving vase with swimming fish in cobalt blue glaze, Qianlong reign (1736-1795), Qing dynasty

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Accession Number
Revolving vase with swimming fish in cobalt blue glaze
Qianlong reign (1736-1795), Qing dynasty
H. 23.5 cm;D. 19.8 cm;Diam. 5.3 cm;Diam. of base. 8.4 cm
National Treasure


This reticulated vase has an inverted mouth, inward sloping sides, a long neck, broad shoulders, tapered belly, and short ring foot. The shoulders of the vessel are decorated with four ring-shaped loops. The belly of the vase is divided into inner and outer layers. The inner layer is coated with light lake-green glaze to create a background akin to the waters of a lake, within which aquatic plants, fallen blossoms, and goldfish are painted in fencai. The underside of the outer base is coated in lake-green glaze, and an inscription in blue and white glaze with seal script characters reads, "Da Qing Qian Long Nian Zhi (Made in the Qianlong Reign of the Great Qing Empire)." Viewers can grasp the neck of the vase and turn the inner layer, and through four openwork panels on the belly of the outer layer, painted scenes of fish swimming among aquatic plants on the surface of the inner layer can be seen to dance before the eyes. The effect is similar to the trotting horse lamp, and thus vessels such as this one are known as "revolving vases."


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