Phoenix tail vase
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- Kangxi Period, 1662 - 1722
- 39 cm
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This blue and white phoenix tail or yenyen vase is painted with excellent colour and decoration, showing four phoenix in flight amongst peony blossoms on a scrolling leafy ground. The vase has a baluster body and a tall trumpet-shaped neck.
The immortal bird is in Chinese mythology said to be an omen, foretelling harmony and the birth of a new emperor. The name phoenix or fenghuang is, like the qilin, a combination from both the female and the male word: the word feng represents the male and huang the female. In the phoenix the yin-yang harmony is thus present. The bird is believed to be born out of the sun and is one of the four heavenly animals.