Famille Rose Vase With Peaches

Jingdezhen ware. Qing Dynasty, Yongzheng reign (1723 - 1735)
Shanghai Museum

The reign of the ruthless but competent Yongzheng, son of Kangxi, is distinguished for the quality of its porcelains, such as the exquisite famille rose (in Chinese called fencai, meaning "soft colors") vase pictured here. The vase was made in the Jingdezhen kilns. Peaches in China symbolize long life; the peaches of immortality were said to ripen every six thousand years in the garden of Xiwangmu, the Queen Mother of the West. A design with nine peaches (an auspicious number) was popular on wares of this type.

It is a convention in vase painting of this type that the peach tree blossoms are shown as appearing together with the ripened fruit. This of course could not happen in the real world; but it is always Spring in Xiwangmu's garden.