Copper Vats

Copper vats were parts of the fire-fighting equipment in the palace. They were filled with water to be used to douse fires. From October to February every year, the vats were covered with quilts toprevent the water freezing, and on very cold days they would be heated by charcoal firs. The oldest vats were cast during the Hongzhi reign period (1488-1505) of the Ming Dynasty. Each of the Ming Dynasty vats has two iron rings, ancient, simple and natural. The Qing Dynasty vats had two beast-shaped bronze rings, a big belly and a small mouth. The Palace Museum has a total of 308 copper and iron vats of various sizes. Of them, 18 are copper vats inlaid with gold, which are located on both sides of Tai He Dian (Hall of Supreme Hamony), Bao He Dian( Hall of Preserved Harmony) and Qian Qing Men (Gate of Heavenly Purity).
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