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  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1736-1795 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain, pierced, painted with overglaze enamels and gilded

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by George Salting

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 14, shelf 5

This double-walled vase, produced during the reign of Qianlong emperor (1736-95), represents an extraordinary example of Chinese ceramic craftsmanship, both for its exuberant decoration and its form. It consists of two parts, an outer vase and an inner cylinder which revolves inside it. The cylinder is painted and fixed to the vase at the neck and foot, while the outer vase has a pierced design which allows one to glimpse the patterns on the cylinder inside. Neck, body, base and inner cylinder were fired and decorated separately, and then skilfully mounted together.

The lavish decoration on the surface, painted in coloured and gold enamels on a blue background, reflects a style which was appreciated by the Chinese court during the 18th century. Revolving objects were produced for special occasions due to the difficulty of manufacture and became popular after the first revolving celadon bowl was presented to the Qianlong emperor in 1743.

Physical description

Double-walled vase with an outer part pierced with the design of the Eight Trigrams, through which the inner cylinder painted with emblems on a pink ground can be seen. The outer wall is painted with flowers and scrollwork in 'famille rose' enamels and with gold floral scrolls on a blue ground.

Place of Origin

China (made)


1736-1795 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Porcelain, pierced, painted with overglaze enamels and gilded

Marks and inscriptions

Mark of the Qianlong reign
Made in the reign of Qianlong of the Great Qing
Da Qing Qian long nian zhi seal mark in underglaze blue on the base


Height: 20 cm

Historical context note

Double-walled vases like this were particularly admired at court.

Descriptive line

Double-walled vase, pierced with design of Eight Trigrams, painted with 'famille rose' flowers and gold floral scrolls on blue ground, China, Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign (1736-1795)

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Rawski, Evelyn S. & Rawson, J. (Eds) China: The Three Emperors, 1662-1795, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005

Production Note

Mark of the Qianlong reign (1736-1795). This vase is similar in construction and decoration to one in the Palace Museum, Taipei, described in palace records as 'ci tai yang cai ba gua ru yi zhuan xuan ping', although a few details are different, including the size of the external vase, the size of the 'bagua' design and the handles.
Opinion by Yu Pei-chin (Deputy Chief Curator of Antiquities Department, National Palace Museum, Taipei) - 4 April 2014


Porcelain; Enamel


Painting (image-making); Gilding; Piercing; Gilding; Piercing

Subjects depicted

Flowers; Scrolls (motifs); Eight trigrams


ELISE; Porcelain; Ceramics


East Asia Collection

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