c1860 Chinese Bronze Sculpted Vase with 5 Claw Royal Dragons


A rare and finely crafted large bronze spill vase which is decorated with sculpted Imperial Royal five claw dragons.

The dragon has always had a powerful significance in Chinese culture as a symbol of power. It has been law since before the Ming Dynasty that a dragon with five claws could only be used by the Emperor. Using the claws incorrectly was considered treason punishable not only by the death of the perpetrator, but also all of his family clan. Consequently pieces such as this only came from the Royal Palace.

Condition is good but it has had damage to the rim which has been soldered and there is a broken horn on the dragon around the neck. On the base is a moulded seal, possibly Hsuan Te of the Ming Dynasty, which is surrounded by two dragons.

Size: 33.5 x 17cm
Weight: 3365g