G034 An Elegantly Understated 18th Century Chinese Export Lamp - Circa 1770

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

An elegantly understated, 18th century, Chinese export, baluster shaped antique lamp of classic style.  The decoration, a tasteful combination of underglaze cobalt blue and overglaze polychrome enamel painting.

The neck rim of the lamp with a band of underglaze blue cell diaper.  The shoulder of the lamp with a wide band of complex underglaze blue diaper.  Below the blue border, a delicately painted, pastel band of stylised butterflies and opened winged bats or Fu.

Chinese decorative art is highly symbolic and the bats translate as an ancient symbols of good fortune and long life.  The symbol derived from the Chinese sound for good fortune and bats being the same.  The delicately painted butterflies symbolise joy and marital happiness.

The bat and butterfly symbols interwoven with loose, naturalistic arrangements of delicate summer flowers.  The base of the lamp, in the white and decorated with flower sprigs, flower heads, moths, dragonflies and butterflies.  The base rim of the lamp with a band of underglaze blue cell diaper. 

Chinese decorative art of the 18th century always strove for balance and harmony and this baluster shape is a beautiful example of this sought for balance.

The lamp seated in a delicately carved, antique Chinese stand, the feet of the stand as stylised Fu or bats.  The lamp with a custom made, matte gold plated cap.  The lamp shown with a pleated, blue/grey, silk shade suggestion.  This is a very pretty, tastefully understated, 18th century lamp.

Chinese Wordplay and Symbolism:- Symbolism is an essential part of Chinese culture, contained within fundamental methods of communication such as speech patterns.  Chinese languages are tonal, resulting in a fondness for puns and wordplay.

In Mandarin Chinese, four distinct variations in tone are used to distinguish words from one another.  For instance, the sound “fu” can represent either good fortune or a winged bat, depending on the intonation used.

For this reason, bats and their depiction are considered good luck.  Butterflies, in Western culture represent new life.  In Chinese, the sound for butterfly has the same phonetic root as the word for a seventy-year-old man and is therefore associated with the wish to live to a contented old age.

Qianlong Emperor 乾隆 - Circa 1770

Overall height (including shade) 22"/56cm approx

Lamps shipped to the US and UK are wired to US and UK specifications

The lamp shade shown is for photography purposes only.


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Category: 18th century lamp antique chinese lamp antique lamp antique table lamp Chinese chinese export Chinese table lamp Circa 1770 lamps table lamps understated


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