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Enamelled vase


Height: 12.400 cm

Bequeathed by Reginald R. Cory

Asia OA 1936.4-13.46

Room 33: Asia

    Enamelled vase

    From China
    Qing dynasty, 18th century AD

    In the style of contemporary porcelain

    The technique of painted enamel was invented in Limoges, France in the fifteenth century. Its introduction to China is attributed to Jesuits at the court of Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722). The base was usually of copper, on which were painted enamels that is, coloured glasses. The decorative style reflects that of contemporary overglaze enamelled porcelain and is predominantly the type known as famille rose. The most striking colour is a pink (French: 'rose') enamel derived from colloidal gold. Flowers, fruits, landscapes and figures were common motifs. This vase is a good example, with a delicately painted scene of flowers and quails.

    Many pieces were made later for export, with shapes and decorative designs to suit Western tastes.

    J. Rawson (ed.), The British Museum book of Chi (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)


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