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Blue and White Chrysanthemum-Petal Style Wall-Mounted Water Dispenser with Plantain-Leaf Designs

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Period: Yongzheng reign (1723–1735), Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Dimensions: height: 36 cm; mouth diameter: 9.5 cm; foot: 9.5 × 13 cm

This shape of this vessel resembles a vase that has been cut in half. The mouth rim has a lip, and the body appears to droop downwards. The lower part of the body has a beast-shaped spout above the round foot. The surface is covered in blue designs with stylized plantain leaves in an opposing orientation on the neck and body and with a lotus petal design near the foot. The underside is covered in white glaze and is devoid of any artisan or production markings.

The clay core is thick and heavy. The blue designs are brilliant but appear to be graying while the painting technique is slightly crude. The wall-mounted vessel is one of many ordered by Europeans for production in China. The hole in the spout is fitted with a copper spigot. Similar items made during the earlier Kangxi reign (1662–1722) include extant polychrome varieties with covers and matching chrysanthemum-petal style basins. This piece probably had a cover and a matching chrysanthemum-petal style basin, which are now missing.

Chinese entry by Gao Xiaoran
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu


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