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ID number:  BIRBI-40.7
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Chinese
Title / Object name:  Vase
Object type:  Art object
Culture:  Chinese
Date made:  18th century
Materials:  White jade
Measurements:  10.4 x 12.1x12.1 cm
Provenance:  In the Chinese Imperial collection until the reign of the Empress Tzu His, who sold it to a Tientsin antique dealer. Purchased from Messrs. John Sparks, April 1940, for £145

A square drinking cup of white jade with pale russet veinings, decorated with a dragon entwined round the horizontal bar handle. The dragon has five claws and grasps a sacred pearl. The pearl is associated with wealth, good luck and prosperity. The bowl sits on a wooden stand, possibly of an imperial wood known as 'zitan'.

It was once said that this was a drinking cup that belonged to Emperor Ch'ien Lung, who ruled China for 61 years from 1735-96 during the Ming Dynasty and used the cup during celebrations with his generals on their return from victorious campaigns. However, this has now been discredited.

Notes:  Exhibited: Temple Newsam, Leeds, 'Exhibition of Chinese Art', 1940 (108, p.16).

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