Blue and White Bagua and Phoenix Porcelain Jar

c. 1850
H: 6.75" Dia: 6.5"
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This provincial blue and white jar is uniquely embellished with flowers, clouds, a flock of cranes and taoist bagua symbols. Chinese blue and white ceramics are famous worldwide, and it took artisans centuries to refine their production processes. The decorations on this jar are hand painted in a loose and easy style. The series of lines beneath the cobalt border, each either "broken" or "unbroken" are Taoist "bagua" symbols respectively representing yin or yang. The phoenix is an immortal bird whose rare appearance signifies peace and prosperity. The rich blues underglazed beneath the surface occur only when the cobalt oxide used to decorate is fired at a very specific temperature in the kiln. Even slight variations will result in strong variations of color.

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