Origin: Jingdezhen Kilns, China
Dating: c.1730 (Qing Dynasty, Qianlong period)
Dimensions (cm): 63,8 x Ø 36,9
Inv. no.: PD0300
A “blown blue” pot in porcelain, decorated in gold, with a “cracked-ice” pattern.
On the body there are three leaf-shaped large sections – outlined in green and iron-red – with Famille Rose enamels. The figurative landscapes allude to the theme of longevity.
The larger sections are divvied by six smaller eight-lobed sections, decorated with multi-coloured peony flower sprigs. The lid displays three small sections filled with butterflies fluttering among flowering branches of peonies, similar to those on the pot.
Female characters are represented in the decoration, which is frequent in the Yongzheng period. These daily life scenes – both interior and exterior – often carry a symbolic religious messages but they may also simply be duplications from illustrations of popular contemporary stories.
In this case, the subject of longevity is conveyed through the continual presence of the sacred mushroom of immortality – lingzhi – and of the fallow deer – the only animal believed capable of attaining it. The lotus flower also symbolizes it for, aside being a symbol of purity, it is also one of the marks of the young He Xiangu – one of the Eight Immortals. Herons or cranes, pine trees, plum trees and boulders symbolise longevity and durability as well. According to Taoist and Buddhist beliefs, the buffalo – represented in one of the scenes – emphasises the sense of strength combined with prosperity and tranquillity in an ideal life.