On View: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
This vase is a very early example of famille rose enamel on porcelain. It represents the transition between the Kangxi (1662–1722) and Yongzheng (1723–35) reigns, with the shape, shoulder, and narrative scenes on the neck being typical of Kangxi-period forms while the large peonies are more characteristic of Yongzheng-period ceramics. The decoration highlights two mythical birds, either a pair of phoenixes (feng) or a phoenix and her mate (huan) in a rocky landscape strewn with peonies and peach blossoms. This dramatic scene is a rebus expressing a wish for a rich and honorable household. The juxtaposition of the phoenix and peony symbolize a happy life, and the phoenix and mate connote a blissful marriage.
Porcelain, overglaze enamel
Gift of the executors of the Estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam
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Vase, 1662-1772. Porcelain, overglaze enamel, 18 1/4 x 7 5/8 in. (46.4 x 19.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the executors of the Estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam, 32.1126. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 32.1126_SL1.jpg)
overall, 32.1126_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Shallow plate-like mouth; slightly long neck; cut (or bent) shoulders; tubular and long belly; circular foot. Form is like a wooden cudgel. Also known as "wooden cudgel vase" (baluster or Rouleau). Wucai and famille rose decorations of phoenix, peony, magnolia, peach flower, etc... Homophone of phoenix and peony is "yu tang fu gui" (fine house of wealth). Homophones for paintings on neck are "zhi ri gao sheng" (official promotion is nearby) and "jie jie ping an" (peace season after season). Besides lower section of circular foot is unglazed, clear glaze covers the interior, exterior, and interior of foot's base. Display porcelain.
Condition: Intact. 2 raised lines on belly which were later painted over.
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