An outstanding and rare, late 19th century, Qing dynasty, Nyonya 娘惹 Famille Rose vase. The vase 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. Understatement was never a characteristic of Nyonya porcelain!.
The vase decorated with Chinese auspicious symbols in a very pretty pastel pallet of enamel colours. Chinese decorative art is highly symbolic and what could simply be seen as decoration, is rarely so. The lamp enamelled with a pastel green ground colour. The ground with ogival shaped reserves finely outlined in a yellow and black, double fine line frame. The reserves decorated with Phoenix’s in flight above branches of shaded, rose pink Peony flowers, buds and foliage. The traditional decoration in bright, fresh, vibrant enamel colours.
The Peony and the Phoenix are the two most important Nyonya symbols. The Peony flower is one of the four flower emblems, signifying summer, love and affection. It also indicates a hope for greater advancement and 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 the Phoenix can fly the closest to heaven, therefore making it a divine and auspicious symbol.The neck of the lamp with moulded and applied Buddhist lions. The shoulder of the lamp with moulded and applied pairs of hornless dragons in pink and green enamels.
The base of the lamp enamelled with a wide band of stylised lotus petals in coral pink and yellow lappets. The neck and sides of the vase finely painted with Peony flowers in shaded pink enamels. This is an outstanding example of the unique late 19th century Chinese porcelain specifically produced for the Malay Straits and Singaporean Chinese communities. The vase in original condition.
Reference Literature. "Straits Chinese Porcelain", A Collectors Guide. Author, Ho Wing Meng, Published, Marshall Cavendish International Pty Ltd. Singapore 2004.
Ho Wing Meng, "Straits Chinese Porcelain: A Collector’s Guide", Times Books International, 1983.
"Peranakan Chinese Porcelain". Author, Kee Ming- Yuet. Published, Tuttle Publishing Singapore 2009.
Guangzhou Emperor – Circa 1890-1900
Overall height 12" / 30cm