Medium and Support:
Cloisonné enamel on gilt copper
Anonymous gift in loving memory of Evelyn H. Ornstein
4 7/8 in. x 2 7/8 in. x 5 3/4 in. (12.38 cm x 7.3 cm x 14.61 cm)
Currently on view
The form of this cloisonné vessel in a bull shape is very likely to have derived from a guang, the ancient bronze vessel used for pouring wine in rituals during the ancient Shang period (1766-1050 BCE). Like the Shang bronzes , the various compartments of this vessel's sides are filled with dragons of many sizes, most reduced to heads with characteristic bottle-shaped horns. It became popular during the Qing dynasty to revitalize antique styles of ancient bronzes in different media, such as jade, ceramic, or cloisonné. The color yellow, used in the background in this example, was reserved exclusively for objects that belonged to the Chinese emperor.
Last Updated: 6/11/2013