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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Lidded tea pitchers decorated with dragons. Made of carved red lacquer and gilded bronze.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1736-1795
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 51.6 centimetres (for both pitchers)
    • Width: 23 centimetres
    • Depth: 13 centimetres (excludes ball and chain)
    • Depth: 16.5 centimetres (with ball and chain)
  • Curator's comments

    This pair of pitchers was used to serve butter tea, which was widely enjoyed in Tibet. The drink was made by churning tea brewed from fermented black tea leaves with yak butter and salt. The shape of these lacquer vessels derives from a Tibetan butter churn, originally made from wood. These vessels were probably made in China for the Chinese court, and reflect the close connections between the Qing emperors and Tibetan dignitaries.


  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited: 2015 – 2016 4 Dec – 29 May, National Museum of Singapore, ‘Treasures of the World’s Cultures’
    2012 Sep – 2013 Apr, BM G91, ‘Ritual and revelry: the art of drinking in Asia'

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


Urns (tea) with lids. Dragons. Made of carved lacquer (red); also gilded bronze.

Urns (tea) with lids. Dragons. Made of carved lacquer (red); also gilded bronze.

Image description



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Object reference number: RRC14237

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