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Vase with dragon and ring handles
Place of Origin: China
Date: 1900-1940
Materials: Jadeite
Dimensions: H. 11 in x Diam. 3 7/8 in, H. 27.9 cm x Diam. 9.8 cm
Credit Line: Transfer from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Bequest of Isabella M. Cowell
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Jade And Stones
Object Number: B68J6
On Display: No

Description

Label:

The Awe-Inspiring Dragon
The mythical dragon permeates Chinese history, folklore, religion, and art. In the past, China's agricultural population worshipped the dragon because of its ability to control the rains in the sky. The dragon has many distinct characteristics: horns like a stag, head like a camel, neck like a snake, eyes like an eagle, claws like a hawk, palms like a tiger, and ears like an ox. The mythical creatures are bearded with whiskers and typically breathe fire. Historically, there are three types of dragons; the lung, the most powerful, inhabits the sky; the hornless li lives in the ocean; and the scaly chiao dwells in marshes and dens in the ocean.

The dragon symbolizes high rank and power. Perhaps as long as three thousand years ago, it became the emblem of kings and emperors. The dragon also signifies benevolence, and paired with the pheasant, forms a popular wedding motif, emblematic of a perfect marriage. The dragon embodies yang (male) forces and the phoenix yin (female) forces.

HIDDEN MEANING: May you have peace (ping'an)!

The word for "vase" (ping) has the same sound as the first character of "peace" (ping'an).


More Information

Exhibition History: Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Imperial Arts, October 7- December 31, 2006
"Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Art," SFO United Terminal, June 4, 2010 - January 19, 2011
Label:

The Awe-Inspiring Dragon
The mythical dragon permeates Chinese history, folklore, religion, and art. In the past, China's agricultural population worshipped the dragon because of its ability to control the rains in the sky. The dragon has many distinct characteristics: horns like a stag, head like a camel, neck like a snake, eyes like an eagle, claws like a hawk, palms like a tiger, and ears like an ox. The mythical creatures are bearded with whiskers and typically breathe fire. Historically, there are three types of dragons; the lung, the most powerful, inhabits the sky; the hornless li lives in the ocean; and the scaly chiao dwells in marshes and dens in the ocean.

The dragon symbolizes high rank and power. Perhaps as long as three thousand years ago, it became the emblem of kings and emperors. The dragon also signifies benevolence, and paired with the pheasant, forms a popular wedding motif, emblematic of a perfect marriage. The dragon embodies yang (male) forces and the phoenix yin (female) forces.

HIDDEN MEANING: May you have peace (ping'an)!

The word for "vase" (ping) has the same sound as the first character of "peace" (ping'an).


Exhibition History: Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Imperial Arts, October 7- December 31, 2006
"Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Art," SFO United Terminal, June 4, 2010 - January 19, 2011
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