Polychrome-enamel porcelain bowl with "Five Relationships" motif

Ch'ing dynasty, Yung-cheng period (A.D. 1723 1735)
Height: 7.6 cm Depth: 6.8 cm Mouth diameter: 16.2 cm Footrim diameter: 6.7 cm

Polychrome-enamel porcelains of the Yung-cheng and Ch'ien4ung periods are celebrated for their exceedingly fine workmanship and delicate ornamentation. This kind of porcelain is also referred to as Ku-yueh Hsuan, or "Ancient Moon Terrace" ware. The five pairs of birds represented on this bowl phoenixes, cranes, mandarin ducks, magpies, and golden orioles - symbolize the five human relationships of the Confucian ethic: emperor to his ministers, father to son, husband to wife, eider brother to younger brother, and friend to friend. The porcelain body is extremely thin and semi-trans-lucent.

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