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Twin Vases with Carved Stand

Asian Art

On View: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
These joined twin vases were modeled on ancient bronze-arrow containers, given as rewards for military valor. On the front, a falcon—with outspread wings and one foot resting on the head of a monster—symbolizes courage, strength, and authority. The monster’s body passes between the bases of the vessels, and its flame-like tail is visible on the back, where it supports a dragon, the emblem of the emperor.
MEDIUM Cloisonné enamel on copper alloy, gilt bronze
  • Place Made: China
  • DATES 1736–1795
    DYNASTY Qing Dynasty
    PERIOD Qianlong Period
    DIMENSIONS 25 1/4 x 15 x 13 in., 74.5 lb. (64.1 x 38.1 x 33 cm, 33.79kg)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 09.606a-b
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Samuel P. Avery
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION "Champion Vase." Large twin vases modeled on bronze arrow containers given as rewards for military valor. Each vase is hexagonal and has a foot of medium height that spreads slightly and had a somewhat wider, almost straight rim at the bottom. The bodies are very tall, straight, and not much wider than the feet. The necks are rather low and concave in outline. Narrow rims projects a little from the top and bottom of the bodies. The vases are securely fastened together. A falcon, with one foot resting on the head of the monster, and outspread wings, symbolizing courage, strength, and authority, is applied to the front of the vessel. The monster's flame-like tail goes through to the back of the vessel and supports a dragon, the emblem of the emperor. The forms of such objects embellished with imperial symbolism can be traced to antiquity when Chinese political culture was governed by the performance of ceremonial rituals in the court. Copper gilded on the rims, the bases, the insides of the mouths, and the monster and falcon, and decorated on the sides with cloisonné enamels. On the feet and necks are lotus scrolls, and on the bodies are large single floral heads set in a diapering patterned ground, the lines of which have small flower heads at the junctures. The colors, which are dull, are pink, red, dark blue, white, yellow, brown, and two shades of green on a dark turquoise blue ground. The foot is engraved with fret patterns.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
    CAPTION Twin Vases with Carved Stand, 1736–1795. Cloisonné enamel on copper alloy, gilt bronze, 25 1/4 x 15 x 13 in., 74.5 lb. (64.1 x 38.1 x 33 cm, 33.79kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Samuel P. Avery, 09.606a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 09.606a-b_side1_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE side, 09.606a-b_side1_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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