"Birds of a feather... "
A 19th century Chinese, baluster shaped antique lamp. 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 and is also a synonym for nobility and gracefulness. The Phoenix, or "Feng Huang" in Chinese, is a very ancient emblem signifying goodness and benevolence. It was used to symbolise Imperial power, specifically the female aspect, signifying the Empress of China.
The lamp, decorated in bright enamels on a white ground, with a subject known as, "A Hundred Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix". The central subject is the Phoenix, the king of birds. The Phoenix standing on moss covered rockery beneath a wutong or parasol tree. The Phoenix surrounded by other birds, cranes, mandarin ducks, golden orioles and wagtails.
Of note, with symbolism being an essential part of Chinese art and culture, the mandarin ducks, always shown as pairs, represent male and female and stand for marital fidelity and happiness. If separated, the birds pine away and die. 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 lions. The underside of the top rim, decorated with a band of ruyi sceptre heads, or wish granting motif, in pale blue and pink.
The base of the lamp enamelled with a broad lappet band in pink, magenta and pale blue enamels. The lamp set into a gold plated ring and seated in a fine quality, polished Chinese hardwood stand, the lamp with a custom made, gold plated lamp cap. The lamp shown with a pleated, fern green, silk shade suggestion.
Guangzhou Emperor - Circa 1880
Overall height (including shade) 22"/56 cm approx
Lamps shipped to the US and UK are wired to US and UK specifications