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Painted Enamelware Vase with Dragons
Yung-cheng Reign (1723-1735), Ch'ing dynasty (1644-1911)
Height: 21.3, base diameter: 8.8 cm

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During the Yung-cheng reign, under the close observation of the court, painted enamelware, which had originally come from the West, entered a stage of full-scale development. Whether the body of the vessel was porcelain, bronze, glass, or painted enamels were not only done with opulent colors, the decoration was also extremely refined. The peony blossoms on the surface of this painted enamelware vase with dragons are a traditional Chinese auspicious pattern, and the k'uei-dragons inlaid onto either side of the shoulder and the ring of floral motifs at the top are exquisitely rendered. It perhaps shows, after the absorption of Western techniques, the reinterpretation of traditional craftsmanship.

Text: Yu P'ei-chin
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