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Jar with Myriad Blessings in Gold on a Red Ground

Tags: ceramics | National Palace Museum | vessel


Chia-ch'ing Reign (1796-1820), Ch'ing Dynasty (1644-1911)
Body height: 16.5, rim diameter: 6.7 cm, base diameter: 6.7 cm 
This jar with lid was perhaps used as a tea container. Appearing quite sumptuous and stately, the red ground is filled from top to bottom with gold pigment. If you look close enough, the decoration of the lid and vessel symbolizes the notion of "ten thousand (wan) blessings (fu) forever". In the regulated scrolling patterns of lotus blossoms among stems and leaves linked together, the symbol for the character "ten thousand" and that for "blessings" in the center of the lotus blossom represent the idea of "everlasting good fortune". Moreover, the character for "lotus" in Chinese is a homonym for "continuous". In this case, it means "year after year", making for a very auspicious tea canister that must have also been quite popular.

Text: Shih Ching-fei

Text and images are provided by National Palace Museum