Intricate, inventive and ahead of their time — and that’s just the vases. London’s British Museum has just opened a major exhibition exploring the rich art and global influences of China’s Ming era in the 15th century. Some 280 objects from the years 1400 to 1450 are featured, including bejeweled gold vessels, gilded-bronze Buddhist figures and a 30-foot-long scroll painted on bamboo. Ming: 50 Years that changed China looks at China’s culture, government and place in the world in the early Ming Dynasty, described as a “pivotal 50 year period.” It was during this time that China’s capital moved from Nanjing to Beijing, with the Forbidden City at its heart. It runs through Jan. 5.