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Gold vase with cloisonné and painted enamel decor, Qianlong reign (1736-1795), Qing dynasty

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Gold vase with cloisonné and painted enamel decor
Qianlong reign (1736-1795), Qing dynasty
H. 38.9 cm;Mouth D. 9.6 cm;Foot D. 9.0 cm


Enamel craftspeople from the Qianlong Reign were skilled in the use of inlay decorations for works combining painted enamel, champlevé enamel, and cloisonné enamel techniques. This twin-eared fish dragon vase employed just such a method, by inlaying a painted enamel panel of a western lady among the cloisonné enamel decorations between the vessel neck and belly. The panel is rich in western features such as the unique hair color, buxom body, and western clothing of the lady, as well as the exotic and foreign houses in the background. Just underneath the rim of the mouth, small acanthus flowers and plantain leaf patterns have been engraved, in line with the typical decorative patterns seen in painted enamel works. However, the coiled dragon and square spiral patterns engraved between the neck and belly, as well as the cloisonné enamel decorations of Indian lotus with entwined branches that adorn the entire vessel, exude classical Chinese charm.