Champlevé Enamel Zun Wine Vessel in the Shape of an Ox

The Palace Museum

The Palace Museum
Beijing, China

The wine vessel is fashioned in the shape of an ox. The ox stands with its head turned to one side. It appears to carry one square and two round containers upon its back. The whole body is engraved with patterns of flames and clouds. The small grooves of the curling tips of the flames are made with a cloisonné enamel technique. Covered in green enamel, the ox is embellished with red enamel glaze highlights. The neck, abdomen, and inner side of legs are decorated with a pattern that indicates fur. The square container has a blue enamel panel with an inscription of four characters that are translated as "Qianlong, Imitation of Antiquity" (Qianlong fanggu).
This vessel is a combination of champlevé and cloisonné enamel techniques and imitates bronze vessels of the early Warring States period. With a vivid form and solemn theme, the piece features simple, smooth contours in the ornamentation. The color of the glaze is pure and bright, while the gilding is lavish and heavy. It is a quintessential work of enamels of the Qianlong reign.


  • Title: Champlevé Enamel Zun Wine Vessel in the Shape of an Ox
  • Physical Dimensions: overall height: 19 cm, width: 9.1 cm, body length: 21.2 cm
  • Provenance: Qing imperial collection
  • Type: enamels
  • Medium: champlevé enamel
  • Dynasty: Qianlong reign (1736-1795), Qing dynasty (1644-1911)

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