Archives for posts with tag: peony


DIA330xH90mm, China

A beautiful lacquer serving dish which I found the colour to be warm and x’mas like, the same feeling as scent of the tangerine peels, the taste of cinnamon, the sound of church bells …

The dish is decorated with peony flowers, peony is also know as the flower of riches and honour 富貴花.  There is a story about peony and the mean Empress Wu Zetian, one snowy winter she summoned all the flowers to blossom for her morning wine party.  The gardeners as well as the plants did their best, going against the natural order they all blossomed in fear of the Empress, all but the peony.  The Empress was extremely upset and forbid peony to stayed in the capital Chang An, it was send to Luoyang. There in Luoyang, the peony blossoms filled the city.  When the Empress heard about the news, she ordered for the peony to be burnt, but under the warm of the heat, it blossomed even more.

Click for more information about the special construction of the dish.

Amongst the unique pottery, you will also find Mountain Folkcraft’s collection at the Cobo Ceramic Workshop X’mas Sale.

1/F Fortune Court, 33 Morrison Hill Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

5 – 9 Dec 2014 (Fri – Tue)


plateDIA130xH20mm, China

An octagonal plate with a rooster in a field of peony.

In Chinese, rooster with peony 公雞牡丹 symbolizes 吉祥富貴 wealth and blessed, with the word rooster 雞 “Ji” has the same pronunciation as the word 吉 “Ji” blessed and the peony being the flower of wealth.



W340xL340mm, China

This is fine piece of embroidery on silk.
A corner is trimmed back on this perfect square, a minimal cutting for the costume.
A Du Dou, a traditional undergarment.
The curve is placed on the collar with a string tied around the neck, strings from the two diagonal corners tied around the body.
Chrysanthemum and peony flowers are the theme of the embroidery, symbolizing happiness and  wealth.

Here is a demonstration of how this is worn.
paper mache dolls

DishesDIA100xH40mm, China

A pair of peony bowls.

Peony is a flower that has been much appreciated, beyond displaying in gardens.
Its beauty reciprocated in painting, opera and poetry.

Emperor Xuan Gong was with his beloved Lady Yang admiring the peony blossom in the palace garden.  Li Bai was summoned to court to write a poem about the peony.





The poem “Lady Yang” by Li Bai, translation by S. Obata

The glory of trailing clouds is in her garments,
and the radiance of a flower on her face.
O heavenly apparition, found only far above
On the top of the Mountain of Many Jewels,
Or in the fairy Palace of Crystal when the moon is up!
Yet I see her here in the earth’s garden
The spring wind softly sweeps the balustrade,
And the dew-drops glisten thickly …

She is the flowering branch of the peony,
richly-laden with honey dew.
hers is the charm of the vanished fairy,
That broke the heart of the dreamer king
In the old legend of the Cloud and Rain.
Pray, who in the palace of Han
Could be likened unto her,
Save the lady, Flaying Swallow, newly dressed
In all her loveliness?

She stands, leaning against the balustrade
Of Chen Hsiang Ting, the Pavilion of Aloes.
Vanquished are the endless longings of Love
Borne into the heart on the wind of spring
The radiant flower and the flowery queen rejoice together,
For the emperor deigns to watch them ever with a smile.


DIA190xH160mm, China

 This beautiful painted pot is a container for rice porridge (congee), a nourishing dish for the elderly.  Though this is an object that would only be found in wealthy families, it seems that elaborated  decoration and the specific usage might have another reason other than the utilitarian one.  The Chinese name for the congee pot is 粥罐 “zhou guan” which has the same pronunciation as 做官 “zuo guan” (being a court official, which is the desire of all commoners).  For this reason, these shape of pots 罐 are view more highly than that of vases and though has an everyday function are highly decorative.  Congee also is a easily digested meal which promotes longevity.  In this sense the congee pot is seen as an item of blessing and thus had a special place in a household.

Now if you are interested in making congee to go with the pot, here is how they make it in the best congee place in Hong Kong.

And this is how you can make it at home in 5 mins!

W50xD40xH100mm, China

This is the clay toy of  Dah A Fu, we have previous talked about his story in an early post “Clay Toy A-Fu“.  Most of the A-Fu figurine have him seated, this is an unusual version, but from his accessories we can determined that he is A-Fu.  On his head, he is wearing peony (a symbol of wealth), the costume is the five fok jacket (a symbol of ease and comfort), around his neck is a locket (a symbol of longevity).  In the seated version, he is also hugging a lion with green fur (a symbol of protection from evil) and wearing a pair of court shoes (successful in the court examination).  All the wishes from the parents to the child are projected onto the figurine.

L180xD70xH70mm, China

There are many themes for the gold plated lacquered wood carving (so many verbs, but there there are so many layers layers to the work); floral and symbolic carving is one of them.  The two symmetrical flowers are peony, representing wealth and glamour.  The center piece is xiu qiu (embroidery ball) which is a blessing symbol for love.  Many year ago when public dating are forbidden, the girl would select the groom by throwing the xiu qiu.  On the 15th of lunar January / August, the suitors would gather under the ladies’ quarter, the girl would throw the xiu qiu and whoever catches it will be the groom.  This carving is likely to be part of the decoration from the bridal sedan.  (see more about xiu qiu)

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