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Asian Art Gallery Ltd - Christopher Bruckner

A Pair of Massive Cloisonne Vases and Covers
18th c.; Qianlong Period (1736 - 1795)
cloisonne enamel
Height: 39 1/2 inches (100.3 cm)

A pair of vases with trapezoidal covers and knop handle of identical shape. High rounded shoulders spring from the rectangular neck of each vessel and taper toward the slightly flaring high foot. Cloisonné bands of interlocking key-fret design divide the vase and cover into horizontal bands of decoration. A loose interpretation of the kui dragon appears in cloisonné enamel on all four sides of the cover, the neck, the shoulder and the foot of each vessel. These animals are repeated in series on a cloisonné enamel border just below the neck on the shoulder. Centred on each side of the body is a large, wide, vivid taotie mask. A gilded stylised ox head sits between the kui dragons on the front and back below the shoulder. Pendant blades enclosing a dissolved taotie design in cloisonné enamel taper toward the foot. Notched champleve flanges run along the edges of the vessels as well as down the centre of each side. Two large cloisonné handles issue from the shoulder on each side of the vessels rejoining the vessel just above the eyes in the central taotie mask. Gilded leiwen comprise the background. The vases rest on carved wood stands decorated with dissolved taotie masks.

all text & images © Asian Art Gallery Ltd

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