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Oval Soup Dish and Tray with Famille Rose Peacocks among Peonies

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Period: Qianlong reign (1736–1795), Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Dimensions: Soup Dish Dimensions: height: 24.5 cm; rim: 25 × 20.5 cm; foot 18.5 × 14 cm; total length: 26.4 cm Tray Dimensions: height: 5 cm; rim: 38 × 31.5 cm; foot 26 × 20 cm

This oval soup dish has a straight rim, sloping shoulders, a tapered foot, and a deep, rounded basin. The interior, exterior, and the area inside the foot are covered in a white glaze while the bottom of the foot is unglazed. The dish has a pair of handles, one on either side. The famill rose designs feature peacocks among peonies on the body with two peacocks upon rockery on the left and one large peony on the right. The border is ornamented with an arrowhead design. The exterior around the rim has a patterned band with four reserved panels filled with blue floral designs. The handles are painted with alum-red. The matching cover has four groups of floral sprays, a patterned band with four reserved panels around the rim, and blue floral designs within the panels. The knob is painted with alum-red enamel.

The tray has an open mouth with a folded rim, a flat base, and shallow, rounded sides. The interior and exterior are covered in white glaze, but the underside is unglazed. Surrounded by an arrowhead-patterned border, the interior bottom is embellished with a famille rose scene of two peacocks standing upon rockery on the left with a large peony on the right. The folded rim is painted with four groups of floral designs surrounded by a patterned band with four reserved panels featuring blue floral designs.

The arrowhead patterning on the soup dish and tray were especially popular from the 1850s to 1870s and is seen primarily on plates and bowls made for the European export market.

The set was donated to the Palace Museum in 2005 by Volvo Trucks Greater China of the Volvo Group.

Chinese entry by Sun Yue
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu


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