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An image of Altar vase by


Altar vase
Place of origin
Jiaqing 1796 - 1820Qing dynasty 1644 - 1911 → China
late 18th century
Media category
Materials used
porcelain with overglazed enamels on yellow ground

25.4 x 15.5 cm

Gift of Mr J.H. Myrtle 1991
Accession number
Upper Asian gallery
Further information

This skilfully modelled vase, with a shape inspired by Tibetan metal prototypes and a complexity of decoration typical of late Qing dynasty Imperial porcelain, was used on altars in the Imperial palace. The main decoration comprises eight lotus blooms and the eight Buddhist emblems of Happy Augury ('baji xiang'). The eight Buddhist emblems, popular motifs in Chinese decoration, are the canopy, the royal umbrella, the conch shell, the vase, the wheel of the law, the endless knot, the lotus flower and the pair of fish.

'Asian Art', AGNSW Collections, 1994, pg. 205.

Bibliography (2)

J. Hepburn Myrtle, Late Chinese Imperial Porcelain, Sydney, 1980, 14 (illus.). 10

Jackie Menzies, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'Asian Art - India, South-East Asia, China, Tibet, Korea, Japan', pg. 173-228, Sydney, 1994, 205 (colour illus.).

Exhibition history (4)

Late Chinese Imperial Porcelain, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Aug 1980–21 Sep 1980

Great gifts, great patrons, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 Aug 1994–19 Oct 1994

Buddhist Art from the Collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 May 1995–10 Sep 1995

Conversations through the Asian collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Oct 2014–05 Sep 2015