Painted enamel Chinese peony and pheasant design pear-shaped vase with Qianlong mark
Qing dynasty, Qianlong period(1736-1795)
Height 16.3cm, Diameter of rim 4cm, Diameter of foot 5cm
This vase is made of fine pure white fired clay. The body is light and thin and the glaze has a jade-like lustre, with painted enamels on the glaze. The top and the bottom of the neck have been decorated with blue plantain leaf designs. The body is decorated in painted enamels, depicting pheasants and peonies. A male and a female pheasant perch on a mountain-shaped rock. Huddled together they create an air of intimacy. They are surrounded by Chinese peony and autumn plants and flowers. The empty white area features a poem in black script, which reads “Green holds up the dewy stamen, red passes through the screen-like branches”. The couplet is preceded by an image of a positive legend seal which reads “Spring Harmony”; it closes with a negative legend seal reading “Jade Retreat”and another positive seal image which reads “Sunrise Glow”. On the base is a square mark with four ochre characters which read “made in the Qianlong period”.
The imagery on this vase is beautifully composed. The subjects of the peonies and pheasants are symbolic of the mythical golden cockerel, filled with auspicious connotations of wealth and honour. The craftsmanship is meticulous and subtle. The painting style is derived from the Qing Palace Academy painter Jiang Tingxi. This vase combines the arts of poetry, calligraphy, painting and seals, resembling an open hand scroll.