A rare, late 19th century, Nyonya, Famille Rose antique lamp made for the Straits Chinese communities of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore, Malacca and Penang. The “Nyonya”, also spelled “Nonya”, Chinese communities, commissioned their uniquely decorated porcelains from China. The kilns decorating these Nyonya export porcelains to order, strictly adhering to the specific enamel colour requirements of the Straits communities.
A boldly coloured Chinese baluster shaped lamp. The lamp enameled with a pale pea green ground colour and decorated with a flowering branch of shaded, rose pink Peony flowers, buds and foliage. The ground with two yellow framed ogival shaped reserves enameled with a distinctive bright rose pink ground. The reserved ground enameled in bright colours with a Phoenix in flight, hovering above branches of shaded Peony flowers. Chinese art is highly symbolic and what could simply be seen as decorative, is rarely so.
The Peony and the Phoenix are two such artistic symbols. The Peony flower is one of the four flower emblems, signifying summer, love and affection. It also indicates a hope for greater advancement. It is also a synonym for nobility and gracefulness.
The Phoenix is an ancient emblem, signifying goodness and benevolence. It was used to symbolise imperial power, specifically the female aspect, not only signifying the Empress of China, but, on her wedding day, the bride.
The Phoenix is also a symbol of high achievement, as this bird can fly the closest to heaven, therefore making it a divine and auspicious symbol. The neck of the lamp with applied Buddhist lion handles. The shoulder of the lamp with moulded and applied pairs of hornless dragons in pink and green enamels.
The base of the lamp enameled with a border of stylised lotus petals in the form of coral pink and yellow lappets, the underside of the rim decorated with a band of ruyi scepter heads, or, wish granting motif, in pink and yellow. The lamp seated in an antique Chinese stand, the custom made bronze lamp cap, gold plated. The lamp shown with an ivory, silk shade suggestion.
This is a very fine example of the unique 19th century Chinese porcelain specifically produced for the Malay Straits and Singaporean Chinese communities. To clearly see this delight in bold colour, please click on the details for the colour selection chosen in the decoration of the typical Nyonya house. One of the shaped reserves with a very small, original firing flaw to the rose pink enamel ground.
Straits Chinese Porcelain, Author, Ho Wing Meng. A Collectors Guide.
Published, Marshall Cavendish International Pty Ltd. Singapore 2004.
Peranakan Chinese Porcelain
Author, Kee Ming- Yuet. Published, Tuttle Publishing Singapore 2009.
Guangzhou Emperor - Circa 1890-1900
Overall height (including shade) 21"/54cm approx
Lamps shipped to the US and UK are wired to US and UK specifications
The lamp shade shown is for photography purposes only.