On View: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
The animated painting on this porcelain jar features a golden pheasant framed by the branches of white magnolia flowers and lush peonies. The golden pheasant is the symbol for the second-highest rank among civil officials. White magnolias are symbols of purity; they also stand for “jade hall” (yutang), meaning a rich or noble house. A peony is a symbol of wealth, high social status, and official position. The white magnolia combined with a peony, as on this vessel, means, “May your noble house be blessed with wealth and honor” (yutang fugui). The motif of the pomegranate splitting open, as on the neck of this vase, exposing the seeds inside, conveys a wish for fertility and numerous progeny (liukai baizi).
Porcelain with overglaze enamel decoration
The William E. Hutchins Collection, Bequest of Augustus S. Hutchins
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Oviform Jar, 1368-1644. Porcelain with overglaze enamel decoration, 11 7/16 x 9 7/16 in. (29 x 24 cm). Brooklyn Museum, The William E. Hutchins Collection, Bequest of Augustus S. Hutchins, 52.49.16. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 52.49.16_side1_bw.jpg)
side, 52.49.16_side1_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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