A pair of Canton enamel gourd vases

Qianlong period, 1736-1795 AD, China

Height without wood stand 25.5cm, 10 inches

The gourd form is supported by a circular foot ring decorated with a key fret in blue enamel. The main body of each vase painted in bright yellow enamel as the ground colour, over which a variety of flowers with scrolling leaves embellish the surface. Lotus flowers are the main plant shown, but camellia and chrysanthemum also feature with bats painted in pink and red lightly interspersed amongst the design. These elements all have an underlying meaning, therefore bats represent long life and happiness and the lotus absolute harmony.

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