A Kangxi period blue & white ginger jar painted with a procession of boys playing in a fenced garden, one boy riding a qilin accompanied by three attendants – two waving banners and one holding a canopy – as stylized clouds drift overhead. The garden is comprised of decorative taihu rocks, bamboo and a plantain tree, with the scrolling scene contained between a border of cross-hatch design encircling the glazed neck and double-line border near the foot. A lively drawing style shows outlines skillfully filled with wash ranging from pale to deep rich blue. The entire jar is covered inside and out with a clear glossy glaze revealing a faint blueish tinge where it thickens to stop neatly above the unglazed foot rim; a pale "burn line" where the glaze meets the smooth finely-grained biscuit. The base is glazed and unmarked. It appears the neck of the jar was originally fired with a matching lid over it; some roughness to the glaze and three small nicks/firing faults are likely from removing the lid after firing.
One of the great mythical animals of China, the qilin has the head of a dragon, the body of a horse or deer, the scales of a fish, the tail of an ox or lion. Symbolic of auspicious events, benevolence, peaceful and prosperous times, qilin were reputed to appear in the times of wise and successful leaders. Associated legends include the birth of Confucius being foretold by the arrival of a qilin, hence the popular belief that they were the bringers of sons.
Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Period (1662-1722)
Height: 6-3/8" (16.19 cm)
Condition: Excellent original condition with no cracks or repairs/restorations.