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Antique Chinese Porcelain Censer
Sacred Elephant

with Dragon Motifs
Late Qing Dynasty, Circa: 19th century
h.12n.(30cm.) X w.6.5 in.(16.5cm.) X d.12 in.(30cm.)
Condition: Very Good, water leakage

The elephant is an auspicious animal in Buddhism, and symbol of universal peace that flanked the emperor's throne. Elephant vases such as this one were used on alters to hold flowers. It is probable that the design is derived from the sacred elephant that carries the stupa (true body of the Buddha).

This elephant vase decorated with enamels in polychrome is typical of porcelain of Qing. A beautiful seven colors technique, sprinkled gold powder and hand painted with four sinuous dragons chasing sacred pearls twine among rainbow colored cloud motifs. The decoration is a combination of red and blue in conjunction to other colors. It is likely that two or more firings were required to produce this wonderful vase.

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