Large Chinese Porcelain Plate 18th Century Three Symbolic Scenes Qianlong C 1780
This lovely Qianlong porcelain plate was hand painted in soft Famille Rose colored enamels under a light green glaze. The special glaze was used to enhance the brightness of the colors.
Made circa 1780, the plate has six panels, three with a single figure and a symbolic meaning.
Dimensions: 10.25″ diameter
In the top panel, we see a young man standing proudly with a rooster.
In Chinese folklore, roosters are associated with the sun, strength, and masculinity.
As a result, they are said to be able to scare away evil spirits.
Furthermore, a red rooster like this was said to protect homes from fire.
The panel on the left shows a delightful scene of a young boy with a cricket and a cricket cage.
The boy’s left hand is closed, presumably around a cricket, while the boy points to the cage with his right hand.
Crickets are associated with spring and summer.
The keeping of crickets was particularly popular in the capital city of Beijing during the last 300 years of the Qing Dynasty.
In the panel to the right, we see a young lady with two fluttering butterflies.
In Chinese tradition, butterflies symbolize the beauty and allure of summer while also embodying romantic notions and dreams.
According to P B Welch* the depiction of two butterflies is especially poignant, signifying a permanent feeling of affinity.
Alternating with the three figural panels are three panels delicately painted with peonies, symbolizing prosperity, abundance, and love. The peonies add a touch of elegance to the overall design.
*See P B Welch “Chinese Art A Guide to Motifs and Visual Imagery” pgs 93-95.
The border is decorated with cross-hatched “diamonds” on purple ground.