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  • Description

    Porcelain beaker of ancient bronze ku form. Moulded relief decoration imitating that of an ancient bronze vessel, with confronted dragons round central bulb and leaves above and below. Covered with opaque green enamel, except for foot ring. There is an inscription on the base. Pair with B529.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1736-1795
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 205 millimetres
    • Diameter: 140 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Comment

        Qianlong mark and period
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Qing Qianlong 1736-1795Room 95 label text:

    PDF B528

    Gu-shaped beaker with dragons

    Both the shape and glaze of these vases reflect the Qianlong emperor’s antiquarian taste. Potters modelled the form of the vase on an ancient bronze drinking vessel called a gu. Wealthy aristocrats and generals of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, (about 1600–256 BC), buried bronze vessels as part of ritual eating and drinking equipment for tombs. The shape was transformed into a vase in the Song dynasty (AD 960–1279) as catalogues of collections of antiques were published with woodblock-printed illustrations. The opaque green glaze is a low-fired glaze invented after AD 1720.

    Porcelain with moulded decoration and opaque green glaze
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Qing dynasty, Qianlong mark and period, AD 1736–1795


  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Monochrome pl. 288 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1973 p.48, no.B528 bibliographic details
    • Scott 1989 p.49, no.B528 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Exhibition history


  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    Margaret Medley 1975, records: Elphinstone Gift. PDF card: 1952. Elphinstone Gift

  • Department


  • Registration number



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Object reference number: RRC39799

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