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An ovoid-shaped Chinese Ming period porcelain jar painted in rich blue around the sides with two five-clawed dragons among clouds and with rocks and waves below.  Round the shoulder a stylised shou (long life character) seems to grow out of the lotus

Extraordinary Chinese and Japanese Works of Art in the Royal Collection

Japan [Asia]

Pair of mounted bowls late 17th to early 18th century: mounts, late 18th century

RCIN 3154

Picture Gallery, Buckingham Palace

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This spectacular bowl was made by building up many very thin layers of lacquer (the resin of a tree found only in Asia) on a thin wooden base. The lacquer is decorated with herons and plants against a background of gold flakes known as nashiji. Objects of such high quality were not made for the export market and so this bowl may have reached the West through the private trading of officers in the East India Company.

It was not uncommon for mounts to be added to objects of this kind when they arrived in Europe. In many cases French dealers were content simply to transform an Eastern object into a Western form, or even to invent Chinese-style motifs. However, here the designer appears to have carefully adopted the oriental style of overlapping layers of clouds or petals for the mounts.