Ming Dynasty, porcelain; in excellent condition. 19” h. 15” d.
This barrel-shaped garden seat is painted with Ming period favorite motifs, on transparent white porcelain. The seat top has a pierced cash symbol in the middle surrounded by two sinuous four-claws dragons chasing a jewel among motif of clouds, symbol of wish for riches to rain down from heaven.
The swelling body of the barrel is divided into three decorative parts, with the widest part set between raised bosses. This part is painted with alternating designs of pierced double cash and pictorial designs of birds and flowers. The bird on one side is a peacock with a cherry blossom branch and on opposite side is of two song birds with the peony. These designs together signify wealth and nobility. These pictorial paneled areas are bordered with double key-fret diapers.
The top section shows four of eight Buddhists emblems among a twining ribbon scattered with cherry blossom petals, below a trellis-diaper and a bead-droplets diaper. The bottom section shows four more Buddhist emblems among a ribbon with flower petals. Ribbon signifies a wish for good fortune to come down from heaven.
This garden seat is in excellent condition. Its antiquity is proven by age-old soiled crackling lines at the bottom of the barrel. Authentic Chinese clear blue-and-white antique porcelain garden seats are quite hard to find today as the havoc from the Cultural Revolution caused many to be destroyed. This piece came out of China with a descendant of three generations of missionaries in China when the Cultural Revolution started. He taught about ceramics and cloisonné. This piece is not to be confused with cheap reproductions for garden shops.