This urn (or vase) has been crafted from the finest materials: the deep blue gemstone, lapis lazuli, and lustrous gilt bronze (ormolu). The urn is designed in a style known as ‘Chinoiserie’—a French style that is inspired by Chinese decorative arts. Chinoiserie first became popular in Europe in the late 17th Century, and it remained fashionable in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
The urn is topped by a domed lapis lazuli cover, which is crowned with a gilt bronze pomegranate finial and its edges frilled with gilt bronze ruyi heads. The urn features a lapis lazuli bulbous body with a shaped and banded cylindrical neck. The urn’s neck is mounted with two gilt bronze handles that take the form of fo dogs (Chinese imperial lions) with rings in their mouths. The urn stands on a gilt bronze base set on four C-scroll feet. The tops of the feet are fitted with ring handles and the space between them is decorated with scrollwork.