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Lidded Ginger Jar with Dragon and Phoenix
Item No. 16366

19th Century, N/A, China
9" x 0" x 0"
( 22.86 x 0 x 0 cm)
(H x W x D)

This beautiful porcelinvjar is uniquely decorated, as it contains both an image of a dragon and a phoenix, which represent both male and female energy (yin and yang), on a single vessel. Additionally, the phoenix and the dragon are symbols of the emperor (dragon) and the empress (phoenix), symbols that appear on their robes and elsewhere on other imperial objects, including ceramics. There is no evidence, however, that this piece was in any way connecte dwith the imprial court.

The ground of curling lines on this piece represents water and is interspersed with cloud forms, showing that the dragon is a link between the world of the waters and the heavens. The dragon is represented as a four-clawed, scaly, undulating beast with the head depicted in linear form. The phoenix is represented as a wide-winged flying creature with a massive furling tail with feathers trailing behind, and its head is also created in a linear manner. The lid is decorated with a four stemmed lotus plant with unopened flowers, indicated by a massive lotus pod painted in the center, a Chinese symbol of the potential for enlightenment in its Buddhist form and the wish for many offspring in its cultural interpretation.

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