Qianlong ewers appear to have been inspired by an earlier, Ming-dynasty ewer such as the one published in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Metal-bodied Enamel Ware, Hong Kong, 2002, pl. 67. While the two Qing ewers closely follow the Ming prototype, they have one additional design element – the dragon tail. Qing craftsmen made liberal changes to earlier models by adding their own design elements, thus creating vessels that were contemporary and individual. The dragon tail may be regarded as a continuation of the spout that has the phoenix head emerging out from the jaws of a dragon mouth.
For an example of cloisonné enamel ewer of different form see one of squat drum shape with three feet and curving spout, in the Phoenix Art Museum, illustrated in Chinese Cloisonne. The Clague Collection, Phoenix, 1980, pl. 32, attributed to the 17th century.
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