This is a very rare antique example of the gold foil paper cut arts from Foshan or Fatshan near Canton in Guangdong province and was together with a small collection of the embossed gold foil fireworks labels for which that area was known between 1850 and 1910.
According to John H. Emms in Arts of Asia, January-February 1981 in an article devoted to the fireworks labels: "The Fatshan labels were produced in small shops, many of which also engaged in the fireworks trade during at least part of the year. . . . . .the purpose of the labels was advertising: they were used to sell the fireworks. To accomplish this, the bright labels were designed to create an image of happiness, good fortune and success in the eyes of the Chinese customer. The unusual combinations of vivid colours made them even more tempting. . . In many labels a brilliant rose is used.. . . ."
The paper cut with its vase, bat and butterflies, would have been displayed as a more permanent way (since fireworks labels generally exploded with their products!) to wish good fortune, happiness and success for the New Year and was designed to be taken down and destroyed the following year.
The cut out foil is laid down on colored paper cut-outs and the whole is backed with what is probably rice paper. Approx: 10" diameter. Condition: The gold foil has discoloration in places and some "tears" in places. This is in exceptional condition for an item designed deliberately to be ephemeral.
Texas buyers please note that sales tax will be collected either by Ruby Lane or by us.
Antique Chinese Folk Art Nianhua Fatshan Foshan Gold Foil Paper Cut New Year's Very Scarce