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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

Arita, Hizen province [Japan]

Pair of vases 1670-90, mount: early 18th century

RCIN 39236

King's Dining Room, Windsor Castle

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Japanese porcelains painted in the colourful palette seen in these jars were perhaps the most admired of all imported wares in the late seventeenth century. As a result, the style – known as 'Kakiemon' – was extensively copied at many early porcelain factories in Europe. These two jars are a 'matched pair' – one vase repeats the design of the other in reverse, so they mirror one another when placed side-by-side. In this case, a lady is depicted standing by a chrysanthemum plant, holding a chrysanthemum spray in one hand and a fan in the other. An outstanding collection of porcelains of this style were collected by William III (1633–1701) and Mary II (1662–94) at Hampton Court Palace.