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Gourd Dish with Chrysanthemum Petals and Lacquered Interior

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Period: Qianlong reign (1736-1795), Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Medium: gourd
Dimensions: height: 3.3 cm, mouth diameter: 23.4-16.1 cm, bottom diameter: 19.5-12.7 cm

This oval dish is composed of many parts in the form of slightly-curved chrysanthemum petals. On the exterior, two relief lines wrap around below the mouth and above the foot rim. On each segment a five-petal flower and interlocking lotus scrolls are molded, and on the mouth rim tortoise shell is inlaid. The interior is painted in gold against red lacquer with gourd patterns and intertwining vines, between which fly several bats. This design auspiciously means "gourds with ten thousand generations" and "more sons more fortunes". It was a popular pattern in the Qianlong reign. A gourd vine wraps around the interior wall. The belt-shaped flat foot ring attached on the bottom is lacquered black. In the center was drawn a gold seal with an inscription reading "Made in the Qianlong reign" (Qianlong nian zhi).   
  This elegant object with excellent lacquer and inlays is a masterpiece combining gourd molding and lacquering techniques.

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