The Chinese turquoise ground ewer, carrying an iron red Qianlong seal mark made £36,000 at Duke’s sale on February 15.

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The inspiration for the form, with its elaborate knopped neck and a moulded dragon's head with fanged teeth at the junction of the body and the spout, comes from Tibetan metalwares made as containers for storage of sacred water. A number of similar vessels are known, but perhaps the nearest is the green-ground example from The Gulland Collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

This example, carrying an iron red Qianlong seal mark and of the period, was offered for sale by Duke's of Dorchester on February 15 courtesy of a Dorset vendor who believed his mother had acquired it at a country house sale in the 1980s. It sold at £36,000.