Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign, AD1736-1795

Revolving vase with swimming fish in cobalt blue glaze

Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign, AD1736-1795

Revolving vase with swimming fish in cobalt blue glaze

Height: 23.5cm, Depth: 18.5cm, Rim diameter: 5.3cm, Base diameter: 8.4cm, Body circumference: 43.2cm

Revolving vases were made as composites pieces, though from the exterior they appear as a single work. This piece has a narrow opening, lipped rim, short neck, broad shoulders, downward sloping body, short round base, and four round ring holders on its shoulders. The body is divided into an internal and external sections, the former being covered with light green glaze on which is painted fallen flowers, water plants, and swimming fish. Because this is a composite vase, rotating the neck of the piece causes the inner vase to revolve at which point one can see different goldfish swim through the openings of the outer vase. The base of the piece is covered in lake-green glaze and has a white central area with a six-character in cobalt blue pigment that reads: "Made in the Qianlong reign year of the Great Qing."
 
By rotating the neck of the piece, the vase spins and through the openings of the outer vase creates the impression of fish swimming and playing in the water. This revolving vase with its profound sense of playfulness was made during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor. Whether such an innovation was influenced by the traditional Chinese merry-go-round or western spinning tops with wind-up springs, the firing process required the making of individual components and assembly. One gains a better understanding of the whole vessel from the integrated complete piece.
0%