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Rua Conde Dom Henrique

4800-412 Guimarães


Author: Unknown
Origin: China
Dating: c.1745-1765 (Qing Dynasty, Qianlong period)
Material: Porcelain
Dimensions (cm): Ø 58,3
Inv. no.: PD0054

A punch bowl plate, made from white porcelain, lightly anodised, with high-quality decoration and with the palette of enamels used in the “famille-rose”.

The decoration of the set (punch bowl and plate) addresses marriage and marital bliss. The representation of couples of phoenixes is one of the most popular subjects in the Chinese aesthetic repertoire, symbolising not only an union but also marital happiness. The male represents both the Emperor and happiness, while the female symbolises the Empress, grace or virtue. Alongside, they are connoted with an happy marriage. This idea is reinforced both by the representation of magpies – alluding to happy encounters – and by mandarin ducks, often painted in pairs. These express not only loyalty but also conjugal happiness, since they are birds that mate for life. The herons, which are also depicted in the object, symbolise hopes for the longevity of a marriage.

Punch bowls were used to serve punch, a popular beverage in the 18th century. Punch was often made with an alcoholic drink, fruit juice and a sweetener. It could be served either hot or cold.

Objeto museológico (PDB)