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Covered Jar with Qilin, Lion, and Elephant

Artist/maker unknown, Chinese

Made in China, Asia

Kangxi Period (1662-1722)


Porcelain with underglaze blue, overglaze polychrome enamel, and gilt decoration

22 1/8 x 12 3/8 inches (56.2 x 31.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

* Gallery 235, Asian Art, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Alfred and Margaret Caspary Memorial Gift, 1955

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Many European royals became avid collectors of Chinese porcelain, including Augustus the Strong (1670-1733), elector of Saxony and king of Poland. This jar, formerly in Augustus's collection, exemplifies the virtuoso technical and artistic abilities of the Kangxi period Chinese potters. On a pale green ground-which inspired the European name for the ware, famille verte-the artist has depicted three animals: a lion, an elephant, and a mythical qilin. While the artist who decorated this piece is unknown, many court painters were employed by the porcelain factory established by the Kangxi emperor, himself a devoted collector of these polychrome wares.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.