A mid 19th century, Chinese Imari export antique lamp of baluster shape. The lamp decorated in a typical Imari style, but interpreted in Chinese taste. The enamels used are the traditional Japanese Imari palette of underglaze cobalt blue, iron red and apricot. The decoration enhanced with gilding.
Chinese Imari first appeared during the late 17th and early 18th centuries with Chinese porcelain being produced with new styles of decoration, Chinese Imari being one of these new decorative styles. This development of a Chinese Imari was a reaction to the success of Japanese Imari porcelain which was in great demand by the European market.
Chinese Imari is sometimes a direct copy of Japanese Imari examples but is much more often decorated with typical Chinese motifs that are closely related to the underglaze-blue patterns of the period. The language of symbols pervades all Chinese literature, painting and thought.
There are two levels of communication in China, the practical function of speech and writing and the symbolic meaning that hides just beneath the surface. The decoration of this lamp is no exception with a central Chrysanthemum growing from a formation of sacred fungus, or Linzhi.
The Chrysanthemum represents one of the four important flower emblems and signifies autumn and a contented middle age. The Linzhi represents eternal life and is one of the ten symbols of longevity.
The decoration includes a spreading branch of prunus with blossom flowering on old wood. The plum blossom or prunus is the last of the four flower emblems. It symbolizes winter and long life due to the blossom flowering on leafless branches. The delicate pink flowers with their five petals also epitomize beauty. The decoration with associated sprays and sprigs of garden flowers.
The shoulder of the lamp with broad shaped lappets in cobalt blue and apricot. The lappets over painted with stylized flower heads in iron red. The domed cover decorated with an iron red Chrysanthemum flower, Linzhi and zigzag fence. The cover with an undergalze, gilded, blue cell border, the rim of the cover with a very small production fault plus several stress lines to the glaze.
The lamp seated in a fine quality, 19th century, polished, Chinese hardwood stand. The lamp shown with a pleated, navy blue, silk shade suggestion.
Xianfeng Emperor - Circa 1860
Overall height (including shade) 23"/58cm approx
Lamps shipped to the US and UK are wired to US and UK specifications
The lamp shade shown is for photography purposes only.