Hu-shaped vase

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Yellow enameled porcelain hu-shaped vase with two handles designed as elephant heads with famille rose decoration of three billy goats in a landscape in shaped reserves.

Ground decorated with lotus flowers with their foliage.

Gilt threading encircles the reserves and rim.

Base is decorated with a Greek fretwork frieze against a blue ground, surmounted by a frieze of stylized musa banana leaves.

Rim ornated with frieze of stylized linghzi mushrooms. Turquoise rim interior and underneath base. Mark with six red iron Jiajing reign (1796-1820) characters (Chip on rim) underneath the base. Height: 29 cm. The billy goats are often represented in groups of three, san yang, before the sunrise (tai yang) signified also by the proverb "Three yangs signify the beginning of prosperity".

The divination "three yang" is a direct reference to the tài hexagram listed in I Ching or Book of Changes, comprising three male lines, qián, symbolizing heaven and surmounted with three female lines representing the earth.

Tài, or peace/pervading hexagram, is the first month of the lunar year and omen of good fortune and success. Heaven/force and earth/field come in contact at that time. Their combined effect produces a period of development and universal prosperity.

Reference : The same decoration of scrolling lotus on a yellow ground can be found in Porcelains with Cloisonne Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, vol. 39, 1999, p. 188, n'166, The same billy goat motifs on n'178, p. 202.
A vase with the same pattern was sold on 12.09.11 by Baron Ribeyre & Associés, Paris.

Provenance :

  • Items quantity:  1
  • Expertissim Reference: 2011100550