19th century/late Meiji period (1890s to 1910s) small Japanese bronze vase of meiping shape with carved relief decoration of a dragon in flight among swirling clouds, flames issuing from its body, parts of which are seen through the vapors. Elegant shape, superb crisp work (see its ferocious face, differentiated scales and powerful claws) on a thick walled bronze with high copper contents, pleasantly heavy. Visible dragon body is highlighted with brass wash, great patina, overall in excellent condition. See the companion vase with a dragon in a different attitude in my catalog. Height 3 1/16 inches.