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Zun in the form of an elephant of peace, 18th century, Qing dynasty

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Accession Number
Zun in the form of an elephant of peace
18th century, Qing dynasty
H. 27.5 cm;L. 25.5 cm;L. of vase: 6.5 cm
Significant Historical Artifact


This object takes the form of an elephant with a vase on its back. The elephant stands straight with its head turned back and eyes partially closed. Its trunk is curled upward with tusks on either side. On its back is a saddle in the shape of a Chinese-style bullion, on which is a vase. A brocaded silk is draped on either side and decorated with "ruyi," chime, bat, wave, and jewel-and-pearl motifs. The elephant's skin is represented using grayish-brown glaze with dark areas to indicate hair. The vase is covered with lake-green glaze and painted with red and green winding lotuses also featuring outlines of gold. The piece has no reign mark, but the shape and decoration suggest the period of production as the Qianlong reign (1736-1795). The decoration of the saddle brocade symbolizes the mountains of longevity in seas of prosperity, chimes of auspiciousness for plenty, and times of peace. All are homonyms in Chinese for "phenomena of peace." In addition to porcelain examples, such as this, there are also cloisonne ones as well.


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