It is the property of Steve Wynn, who bought a Christie's Auction and then donated it to a public Museum in Macau. The ming vase was auctioned for $ 10,122,558 on 30th May 2006. Urns: Urns are covered vases, without handles and a narrow neck with a footed pedestal. Urns have been important funerary items since ages. The Greeks used urns to store the ashes of their beloved ones after cremation. Romans placed urns in collective tombs called “columbarium”. These tombs had niches created especially for keeping urns. There is another kind of urn known as a “tea urn”. However it does not fall under the category of vases. Tea urns are made of metal and are used to boil water, brew tea o coffee in large quantities. They have a tap near the base to access the beverage. Tea urns are not intended for domestic use.


Famous Vases:

There are many ancient vases which are relics of bygone eras or have historical significance. Most of these vases have been excavated from site of ancient civilizations or have changed owners over the centuries. A few of them have become famous items of adornment due to their exquisite craftsmanship. A few of the well known vases are

Purpose of Vases:
Waterloo Vase:

The Waterloo Vase is a huge urn. It stands 15ft high and weighs 20 tons. It was carved from a single piece of Carrara marble. The Waterloo Vase is a garden ornament in the Buckingham Palace garden. It has been there since 1906. The Carrara marble from which the vase was hewn, was shown to Napoleon I of France while he was journeying to the Russian front through Tuscany. The marble was a massive block. The Emperor desired it to be preserved and ordered it to be carved into a vase or urn. The panels were undecorated in readiness to depict Napoleon I's forthcoming victories. The unfinished vase was gifted to the Prince Regent in 1815 after the French defeat in the Napoleonic Wars. The Prince Regent got the vase completed by Richard Westmacott. The vase was carved to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo. The carvings on the vase were inspired by other ancient vases. However the extreme weight of the Waterloo vase prevented it from being placed on any floor. In 1836, the vase was presented to the National gallery. The gallery returned the vase to the sovereign in 1906. Edward VII placed the vase in the royal garden where it remains till date.

Borghese Vase:

The Borghese Vase is a bell shaped vase, kept in the Louvre Museum. The Borghese vase was sculpted in Athens during the second half of the 1st century BC. The Borghese vase was carved from Pentelic marble. It was meant as a garden ornament for the Roman market. The vase is 1.72 mt tall and has a diameter of 1.35 m. The carving on the vase depicts a Bacchanalian procession accompanying Dionysus. The vase was discovered at the site of the gardens of Sallust, in a Roman Garden. Medici Vase: The Medici Vase is often paired with the Borghese Vase. It is shaped like a bell and was meant as a garden ornament for the Roman market. The Medici vase is 1.52 m tall. The vase has a deep frieze which is carved with a mythological bas-relief. The origin of the Medici vase is not known. At present, the Medici Vase is in the Uffizi Gallery.

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