Gold Handled Kettle with Cloud and Dragon Design

 

Qing Dynasty
Height: 31.5cm
Abdominal Diameter: 16cm

Made of gold, the kettle is tall and has a wide mouth and thin neck. There's a cone-shaped lid on top. The lid is made up of four layers, with each layer engraved with cloud and dragon patterns. There's a cone-shaped tenon inserted into the kettle mouth and a hoop around the neck. The area above the hoop is divided into several sections with stripes, with cloud and dragon patterns adorning each section.

The belly is shaped like a ball, which is also divided into several sections with vertical lines, each section adorning with cloud and dragon patterns. The dragons, with their tails turning upward and heads down, are in the opposite direction of those on the neck. The round base of the kettle is shaped like an upside-down funnel that is narrow on top and wide at the bottom. The base is engraved with clouds, dragons, sea waves and flames. Most part of the thin and long spout is smooth and unadorned, with flowers engraved at the opening and a beast face at the bottom.

This handled gold kettle is made after the styles of other vessels. Its patterns are created in low relief and densely arranged, with little change, giving a stable feel. It was a wine vessel used in the imperial court.