A Rare Chinese Export Porcelain Bowl decorated with Butterflies, Circa 1760. The bowl''s exterior decorated with numerous butterflies and moths, which are fancifully painted in bright, energetic colors and frequently accentuated with light, but aesthetically pleasing, gilt. ;The upper rim a delicate blue scallop pattern, and the lower rim the same delicate blue, but in a geometric pattern; both ;are accentuated with the same light gilding. ;Small hairline to rim. The interior decorated with a small cluster of flowers, at the center of which is a peony, surrounded by sprigs of small blue and purple blossoms. ;Two exotic fruits, one purple, the other orange, complete this arrangement. ;The rim a blue lattice design, directly below which is a thin band of green floral design on a multi-hued red and gilt background, and below which is a simple blue scalloped line. Diameter: 11 1/4 inches Butterflies are an extremely rare subject in Chinese Export porcelain. Through a punning interpretation of the Chinese word for butterfly, tieh, this design expresses the wish that the owner might live to a ripe old age. ;In Chinese thought, the butterfly is an emblem for joy and a symbol of summer. ;"The butterfly is a sign of conjugal felicity; in fact it might almost be called the Chinese Cupid. ;The origin of this is to be found in the story told by the Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu, of a young student who, running after a beautiful butterfly, unknowingly intruded into the private garden of a retired magistrate, whose daughter he thus saw, and was so struck by her charms, that he determined to work hard and try to obtain her for his wife. ;In this he was successful, and rose to high rank" (Gulland: Chinese Porcelain, Vol. 1, p. 99). See: Howard, David S. The Choice of the Private Trader: The Private Market in Chinese Export Porcelain illustrated from the Hodroff Collection. ;Zwemmer: London, 1994., pl. 58-59 ;Howard, David and John Ayers. ;China for the West. ;Sotheby Parke Bernet: London, 1978, p. 149. Williams, C.A.S. Outlines of Chinese Symbolism and Art Motives. ;Charles E. Tuttle Company: Rutland, VT, 1974. ;p. 51.
Antique Porcelain & Pottery