This large pair of Chinese blue and white phoenix-tailed vases date to the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) in the second half of the nineteenth century. Traditionally known to Western collectors as “Yen-Yen vases”, vases in this shape have long been named “phoenix-tailed vases” by Chinese connoisseurs and scholars due to their flared tops.
The vases are decorated with luxuriant lotus pond scenes hand-painted in a deep cobalt color traditional to the Ming and Qing Dynasties. In traditional Chinese culture, lotus flowers are symbols of purity, virtue, and fertility. The lotus flowers, painted here in several stages from budding to blossoming, exude an air of dynamism. The depiction of a lively lotus pond scene has been popular on Chinese ceramics for about eight hundred years, as people cherish the naturalistic motif with its auspicious connotations. One of the pair has a blue double circle mark to the underside.
In the context of the Qing Dynasty, such a large pair of phoenix-tailed vases would often be employed to adorn dining halls or temple altars. The intense cobalt color and vessel shape make this pair of vases perfect display pieces.
Today they would be stunning presentation vessels for a contemporary or traditional home.
H 19.5 in. x Dm 10.75 in.
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