Porcelain bottle vase of double gourd design, flat on reverse side. Here, in the upper (heavenly) lobe, a pair of phoenixes is shown flying among clouds, while in the lower (earthly) realm, two phoenixes face each other in a garden setting.
In China, the double gourd or calabash is a symbol of the unity between heaven and earth. Here, in the upper (heavenly) lobe, a pair of phoenixes is shown flying among clouds, while in the lower (earthly) realm, two phoenixes face each other in a garden setting. The phoenix appears only in peaceful and prosperous times, and was the symbol of the empress.
Porcelain bottle vase of double gourd design, flat on reverse side with a slot for hanging on the wall, possibly inside the chamber of a royal sedan chair. Dragon motif is represented on both the upper lobe and the lower one.
In China, the double gourd or calabash is a symbol of the unity between heaven and earth. The gourd with dragon design would be part of the roya decor produced in Jingdezhen during the Wanli period of the Late Ming period.
Ewer decorated floral scrolls in fine blue-and-white and a slim handle. The original spout broke off and a silver replacement and lid are later additions.
The shape of this ewer looks back to metalwork models of the Sassanian Empire (based in modern Iran) that were first imported to China in the seventh century. The floral scrolls have their origin in ancient West Asian art, as seen on architecture and carpet.
Bencharong ware spittoon made in a private kiln in Jingdezhen, China, for Thai market. Probably ordered from Thai royalty, under the reign of Rama II (r. 1809-1824). It is the porcelain ware enameled with multiple colors, in the style called “five colors” (“bencharong” refers to five colors in Sanskrit). It has a large mouth and bulbous shape, with design of minor Buddhist deities Thepanom and Norasingh, and Chinese fire patterns.
Spittoons were used by chewers of betel nut chewing, a common custom in Thai and other Southeast Asian countries. The spittoon shape is considered Thai, since they were probably ordered by the Thai and were rarely made for use in China. This spittoon has the design of Thepanom and Norasingh, minor Buddhist deities popular in Thai since around late 17th and early 18th century. Thepanom, usually in praying posture, are celestial beings who live in one of the six lower heavens of Buddhist cosmology. Norasingh, a type of Thepanom associated with the Himaphan forest, a mythical woods located in the Himalayan mountains below the heavens of the gods. A Norasingh has a human head, torso, and arms ornamented in the same fashion as the Thepanom; the hindquarters of a lion embellished with a flame; a flame-tipped tail and the hoofs of a deer. The Norasingh may be a Thai adaptation of the Indian Narasingh, who has a man’s body and a lion’s head and is one of the reincarnations of the god Vishnu. Norasinghs are used only on royal wares and probably symbolize the king’s divinity. On Bencherong ware, Norasingh are shown with one hand laid across the other, possibly a prayer attitude, and with red halos.
It is a porcelain carafe with blue underglazing, with design of stylized acronym of King Rama V of Thailand (1868-1910), his name and reign in medallions with bat motifs and ribbons, and flower and leaf scrolls.
Blue-and-white ceramics in Chinese style such as this were created in China (possibly Jingdezhen, the center of Chinese ceramic production) during the reign of King Rama V (1868-1910) and used by members of the royal family. They were decorated in a variety of patterns and includes inscriptions along with motifs, and repetitive patterns of the highly stylized initials of Rama V. The bat motif is traditionally a popular design in China, because the pronunciation of the character for “bat” (fu) is identical to that for “blessing.”