This cylindrical teapot has a curved spout and sloping shoulder. It has a rose pink ogival medallion enclosing motifs of a phoenix in flight among sprays of red and white peonies. The phoenix is brightly coloured with wing feathers in shades of green, blue and red, a green scaly body with black details and an ochre tail. The rest of the teapot’s body is painted in emerald green with motifs of the Flowers of the Four Seasons. These include the peony, which signifies spring, the lotus which represents summer, the chrysanthemum which symbolises autumn and the plum blossom which represents winter. The phoenix and peony are auspicious symbols in Peranakan culture. The phoenix is a mythical long tailed bird that symbolises beauty, grace, high virtue, the bride and the Empress. The peony symbolises spring, love, beauty and good fortune. The colour rose pink carries connotations of happiness and longevity, youthfulness and innocence, while green represents youth and spring. At the base of the piece are stylised rectangular lotus petals in green and blue. Such pieces of overglaze polychrome enamelled porcelain could have been ordered from the kilns at Jingdezhen in China and sent to Straits Chinese customers in Southeast Asia.

Late 19th-early 20th century
Kuala Lumpur, British Malaya
Gross measurement: Dia of mouth:7.2 cm, Gross measurement: H:14.4 x Dia of body:17.0 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Peranakan Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Sunny Chan Hean Kee

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