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Gourd-Ribbed Teapot with Handle and Polychrome Qilin Scenes

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Period: Qianlong reign (1736–1795), Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Dimensions: Dimensions: overall height: 13.5 cm; mouth diameter: 4.5 cm; foot diameter: 10 cm

This teapot is shaped in a style known in Chinese as gourd-ribbing (gualeng). The pot has a straight mouth, smooth shoulders, a round body, and flat base with three feet. The lid is shaped as a parasol and has a round knob. One side has a curved handle while the other was fitted originally with a curved spout, which is now lost. The current spout is made of silver. The surface of the pot is covered with polychrome embellishments. The body features scenes of the mythical qilin on a slope with plants, flowers, and fences. The mouth has an alum-red meander design while the handle is decorated with clouds in famille rose and verte.

Teapots of this shape are seen most among export ceramics made during the Qianlong reign (1736–1795) of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). The silver handle is not fashioned in a traditional Chinese style and may be a later European addition.

The piece was donated to the Palace Museum in 2005 by the Volvo Group, Volvo Trucks Greater China.

Chinese entry by Sun Yue
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu


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