pair of large chinese temple jars qing dynasty

Pair Of Large Chinese Temple Jars, Qing Dynasty



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A spectacular pair of fine quality Chinese vases, Qing Dynasty, reign of Emperor Tao Kuang (1821-1850) in perfect condition.
They are hand-painted and decorated with children in play. This style of porcelain painting "Karako" meaning Chinese child or children was produced for three levels of social status. The three children design was made for the common people, the five children design was made for people of a higher status (lords and other high ranking people) and the seven children design was made for the imperial family.
The wish for children is a very common motif in paintings, embroidery and porcelain. However, it must be admitted that traditionally the wish is for boys not girls. This apparent misogynistic attitude has to be explained. In the traditional village context a daughter would soon enough leave to marry someone in another village and would then have very little contact with her birth family (often only at New Year). On the other hand a boy would remain in the family home and have a strong Confucian duty to look after his parents into their old age. Scholarly or mercantile activity was restricted to men and so a family's dream of riches and continuity could only come about through bearing sons.
In ancient times children's hair was shaved off, leaving a boy with a central tuft over the forehead and a girl with two tufts over the ears.
At the top of the jars are borders of lappet or cloud collars known as 'ruyi'. The heads of wish-granting wands (ruyi) that decorate the neck of the vases mean "as you wish," which is shorthand for "May all your wishes come true." Chinese people customarily express the desire for others to have good fortune and for all their wishes to be granted (jixiang ruyi).
SIZE: 26 inches tall (66cm)
PROVENANCE: Acquired by a Chinese barrister for his Elizabethan country house in Wiltshire (images 7 and 8... the latter image shows these very vases flanking his fireplace. Image 9 shows them with my rather more humble fireplace). He purchased them in Hong Kong, (images 7 and 8) along with another pair, in 1998. (Also on this website)
For the last 8 years in my private collection.
Internal Ref: 8820


Height = 66 cm (26")
Width = 36 cm (14")
Depth = 36 cm (14")

This item is SOLD and is no longer available to purchase.

* This item has been sold, though you can still email the seller if you wish

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