A Famille Rose Peach and Bat Punch Bowl *SOLD*


Product Details

Porcelain, wheel spun and painted enamels, circular, on foot-rim the curved sides and bowl painted with famille rose enamels of flowering prunus, 9 peaches and 3 red bats in flight. The base with blue six character zhuanshu Qianlong reign mark.

Chinese Republic period (1912–1949)

Height: 20 cm  Diameter: 46 cm 

To the Chinese the peach was 'the fairy fruit', the substance that gave immortality to the gods. It was also a symbol of spring and an emblem of marriage. The ripening fruits depicted on this fine porcelain bowl might indicate that it was intended as a wedding gift. The overall decoration certainly carries good wishes for the owner. A single branch of a blossoming peach tree extends from the foot of the bowl and curves over the lip to the interior. Three red bats flit around the fruit and flowers. These are the Wu Fu, 'the bats of happiness', that represent blessings such as: long life, wealth, health, the cultivation of virtue and a natural death. The Chinese word for bat sounds the same as that for 'good fortune'. And red itself is, in China, the colour of joy. The quality of the decoration reinforces this positive feeling. The detail and the observation of nature is delightful: the bats with their whiskers and lively, beady eyes; the blushing peaches, speckled to suggest their texture; the blossoms with their subtle shades of yellow, purple and pink; the mossy, gnarled branch from which they grow. The pure white background of the glazed porcelain suggests that the scene is taking place in some idyllic realm. The delicate purples, pinks and reds are from the famille rose palette developed in China in the early 18th century. The colours reflect a Western influence that perhaps came via European Jesuit monks in the Far East Courtesy the Fitzwilliam Musuem.

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