Charlton Hall Features Rare Lidded Chinese Cloisonné Champion Vase in Fall Auction

  • COLUMBIA, South Carolina
  • /
  • August 20, 2013

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A rare Chinese cloisonné champion vase that will be up for auction on Saturday, September 7, 2013
Charlton Hall

On Friday, September 6th and Saturday September 7th, Charlton Hall Galleries will feature numerous museum de-accessions at auction, including items from the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Georgia. These numerous and notable items have been within the museum’s collection for as long as fifty years and are being de-accessioned to raise money for their acquisition’s fund.

One such treasure from the Columbus Museum of Art is a rare Chinese cloisonné champion vase that will be up for auction on Saturday, September 7, 2013.  Consisting of two cylindrical lidded vases encased within a brass mount, this vessel was made during the Qing Dynasty.  The cylindrical metal and enamel vases feature a dragon or taotie cloisonné motif in traditional bright colors. The combination of the distinct pattern of this cloisonné vase with the intricately worked brass mount exudes prominence and a remarkable distinction. 


Champion vases customarily feature a mount that depicts a falcon standing on a bear and although numerous examples have been found, the true purpose of these vessels is contentious.  While scholars claim these vessels may have their origins as writing vessels or nuptial cups, the most agreed upon explanation is that these are highly decorative items made for the wealthy.

This double vase features the indicative falcon and bear mount, but it is the inclusion of the lidded portion that makes this example so exceptional. Similar champion vases lacking lids have sold at auction throughout the world for impressive sums, but the uniqueness of the dragon-themed cloisonné pattern and the lidded mount indicate this champion vase will garner worldwide attention. 

For more information on this lot and other items in Charlton Hall’s September sale, please Charlton Hall Galleries at (803) 779-5678 or, or visit our website at to view our online catalogue and request more information.

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