A pair of Chinese “powder blue” triple gourd vases with gilt (gold color) detailing and reserves painted in the “famille verte” palette. The hand painted multicolor enamel decoration features scenes of flowering plants and birds. The gilt decoration features several repeated patterns traditionally found on Chinese ceramics, including “ruyi” heads, “meanders,” stylized leaves and flowers; and a square wave border. Although obviously a pair, the vases are hand crafted and, consequently, not identical (e.g., the central “gourd” on one vase is taller and more spherical than the other). The precise age of the pieces is unknown, but we are confident that they are antique (over 100 years old).
Description: each vase is approximately 4½ inches in diameter at the base, and about 9¼ inches tall. Vase “A” (the one on the left in the attached photos) weighs about one pound, six ounces, and vase “B” (the one shown on the right in the photos) weighs about one pound, ten ounces, making the total weight about three pounds before packing.
The renderings of bird and plant life in the reserves point to the vases’ originally having been a wedding gift: The bamboo and flowering plum are shown with a pair of magpies, and lotus plants are shown with a pair of ducks. These combinations traditionally are interpreted as symbolic of happiness and good fortune, as well as wishes of prosperity, endurance, fertility and conjugal harmony.
The gourd form of the vases is, itself, symbolic of fertility.
Condition: good, with professional restoration to the tops. The painting in the white reserves is in excellent condition. There are losses and wear to the gilt painting on the powder blue areas. Otherwise, no other damage has been found.
We have done our best to show restorations and wear in the photographs we submit with this listing.
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