Bowl with Pheasants
Pheasants were appreciated in China for their striking tail feathers, making them symbols of beauty. These feathers were collected and adorned military helmets as an indication of rank. The paired pheasants painted in underglaze blue, red, and brown on this white porcelain bowl also act as a symbol of fidelity. Prunus branches on either side of the pheasants perched on craggy rocks are painted with similar pigments. Touches of overglaze green enamel are applied to the scene and the pheasants. Sprigs of peony sprouting from the rockery compliment the pheasants as symbols of beauty, affection, love, and honor. The round bowl stands on a short foot rim and has an open rimmed mouth. Two double ring borders in blue underglaze are painted above and below the natural scene depicted on the body.