This polychrome enamelled dish has gilt-edged chrysanthemum rims and sloping sides. The dish is roughly divided into two halves with similar motifs on each half creating a somewhat mirror effect. The motifs consist of a green scaly phoenix in flight surrounded by lush sprays of pink and orange. peonies with leaves and buds. The phoenix is an auspicious symbol that represents beauty, grace, high virtue, the bride and the Empress. Peonies are emblems of spring and symbols of wealth, love and beauty. The dish, is an example, of overglaze Nonyaware porcelains possibly imported from China for Straits Chinese customers. It carries the reign mark “Guangxu nian zhi”, suggesting that it could have been made during the reign of Qing Emperor Guangxu from 1975 to 1908. This piece could have been part of the elaborate “tok panjang” dinner service which refers to dining at home on special occasions such as the 60th birthday celebrations. Such a feast could comprise several hundred to several thousand pieces of Nonyaware.

Late 19th-early 20th centuries
Kuala Lumpur, British Malaya
Gross measurement: H:3.2 x Dia:21.9 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Peranakan Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Sunny Chan Hean Kee

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