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Vase shows royal style

SHUANG lian ping was a popular conjoined-vase design during Emperor Qianlong's reign in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The design was inspired by the conjoined pottery used in the Neolithic Age.

These vases usually look like two fish joined together, conveying the traditional Chinese wishes for happiness, harmony and love. These vases are sometimes referred to as he huan ping (double-happiness vase) or shuang yu ping (double-fish vase).

A conjoined porcelain vase displayed at the Shanghai Museum is decorated with colorful cloisonne enamel, a technique which spread to China in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) after it was invented in the Western world.

Cloisonne enamel is formed by first adding compartments to the object by soldering or gluing thin strips of silver or gold wire placed on their edges.

These remain visible in the finished piece, separating the different compartments of the enamel or inlays, which are often of several colors.

Both sides of the left "fish" are painted with a dragon while the right side is decorated with a phoenix.

The dragon and phoenix represented the emperor and empress of China respectively in ancient times, indicating the vase is a royal piece.

Flower patterns are around the neck and ocean waves decorate the foot of the vase.

The vase has sloping shoulders and a round "belly," making it a very elegant piece.

The variety of bright colors enhance the happy atmosphere that the design conveys and also reveals a royal magnificence.


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