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Famille rose Vase




Qing dynasty (1644-1911), Yongzheng period (1723-1735)


Famille rose Vase


Porcelain, painted decoration in polychrome enamelYongzheng reign-mark on the base


51 cm (h.), 37 cm (diam.)


Purchase, gift of Neil F. and Ivan E. Phillips and Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 1962.Ed.45


Archeology and World Cultures

During the 18th century, potters experimented with new shapes and glazes that were often sanctioned by the emperor himself. Made in the imperial workshops at Jingdezhen, this large vase is covered in famille rose enamel decoration, a technique developed in China about 1720. The famille rose palette consisted of pink and white enamels, possibly introduced from Europe, that were mixed with other coloured enamels to create unprecedented chromatic nuances. Imperial porcelains often included coded messages. During the Yongzheng and Qianlong periods, the pairing of peaches and bats was thought to bring luck. This vase depicts eight peaches in reference to the Eight Daoist Immortals, the bestowers of longevity, and five red bats corresponding to the five blessings, or wu fu, namely age, wealth, health, virtue and peaceful death. The reign mark on the bottom of this vase, coupled with its auspicious symbolism, would have made it an appropriate birthday gift for the emperor Yongzheng.

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