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Chinese bronze 5 claw dragon water fountain - Qing dynasty?

Posted By: TimG
Posted Date: Nov 30, 2017 (08:44 PM)

I just bought a pair of 4 foot tall bronze 5 claw dragon water fountains. The seller told me that he purchased them from the estate of a Chinese ambassador, but perhaps he meant a US ambassador to China since they were purchased here in the USA. The he didn't have a name or address, so there is no way for me to confirm his story.

Nevertheless, does anyone have any information to share about the history and/or use of bronze fountains in China? Opinions on my pair of dragon fountain statues?

They show significant wear and age, but the casting is quite well done.

My quick Google search didn't turn up much. I found a few examples of bronze dragon fountains, but they all seem to be done in the Japanese or European manner...none with 5 claws. The ones listed online also seem to lack the detail of the head and scales that my pair show.

I have read about the 12 zodiacal fountain heads from the Qianlong period, and I am sure there is no (or very little) relation between the two.

I tried finding info on other Chinese fountains, but came up empty.

Any thoughts, opinions, and help on Chinese fountain history would be appreciated.


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