The dragons in the four openwork cartouches on this vase are strikingly similar to those found on the robes in this gallery and illustrate the ubiquitous sharing of motifs that characterizes Chinese art in the Qing dynasty. This vase was most likely part of a set that included another vase, incense burner, and candlesticks, which would be displayed in public rooms and on ancestral altars. This vase is designed to be rotated on its base, a technical embellishment that is also (rarely) found in porcelain but has no true function.
Edward Guthrie Kennedy , New York, 1929; donated to MMA
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Extravagant Display: Chinese Art in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," December 14, 2010–May 1, 2011.