A CHINESE EXPORT FAMILLE ROSE 5 PIECE GARNITURE
EARLY 19TH CENTURY
H: 16 W: 29.5 D: 4 inches
H: 40.6 W: 74.9 D: 10.2 cm
The set comprised of three baluster-shaped jars with covers and a pair of pear-shaped vases, all of a compressed quatrelobed form, the front with pink peonies growing in blue rockwork centered by a ling-zhi mushroom, the reverse with a butterfly.
Thought to have life-saving properties, the ling-zhi mushroom grows for many years and is found at the base of ancient trees on mountain slopes. Admired for its beauty and used in traditional medicine, the peony is among the longest-used flowers in Chinese ornamental culture and was declared as the national flower by the Qing Dynasty. The peony is often portrayed with a butterfly, the Chinese animal symbol representing young love. Chinese legend has it that the butterfly symbolizes an undying bond between lovers.