China, probably Beijing
gIlt-copper, cloisonné enamel, wood base
tank 27.8 x 62.8 cm ; base 56 x 70 cm
This large vessel would have been used to contain ornamental fish and plants such as lotus, in a garden. Inside it is decorated with carp, frogs, and other water creatures among weeds, while the exterior shows an idyllic landscape with auspicious cranes and deer that symbolize immortality.
It may be compared with two other tanks of similar size, one in the Pierre Uldry collection, Zurich, and the other in the Avery Brundage collection, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, The present example differs from the other two in that the landscape has been rendered in reverse.
Haydn Williams, Enamels of the World: 1700-2000 The Khalili Collections, London 2009, cat. 74, p. 131.