Late 19th century
Guangxu Period, Qing Dynasty
Porcelain with overglaze famille verte
h: 47 cm
Nearly perfect condition: no hairlines or repairs, drilled bottom, age wear to enamels
From a Washington DC estate; old USA customs sticker on bottom
This vase is carefully decorated in gorgeous famille verte enamels, and illustrate two popular Chinese folk sayings: zhuang yuan ji di (the scholar has placed first in the Imperial examinations), and tian xian song zi (the heavenly goddess presents a son). These two sayings most commonly appear on Chinese coins, as an auspicious message encapsulating the hopes of most parents in imperial China--that they would be blessed with an extraordinary (as if "heaven sent") son, who would one day place first in the imperial civil examinations.