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Persimmons in Red Lacquer Flowering-Crabapple Style Pot

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Period: Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Dimensions: Height 45 cm; pot length: 24 cm; width: 22 cm

This red lacquer flowering-crabapple style (haitang shi) pot is carved on each side with the auspicious symbols of immortals with children and floral pattering around the rim. The interior of the pot is covered with a ground of lapis lazuli. Part of a real tree was used as the prop for the coral persimmons and kingfisher-feather leaves. In front of the tree is a small flower made of gold, jadeite, and coral to represent the Chinese expression ‘gold branches and jade leaves’, signifying a noble background.

In Chinese tradition, homophones commonly serve as auspicious symbols. The persimmons (shi) in this noble-household decoration signifies ‘things’ or ‘events’ (also shi) and by extension ‘All according to your wishes’ (shishi ruyi).

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