Small Bowl with Peonies and Rooster Design

Accession Number

Small Bowl with Peonies and Rooster Design


Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
late 18th century

Medium & Support
porcelain with overglaze enamel painting

2 in. x 3 1/8 in. x 3 1/8 in. ( 5.08 cm x 8 cm x 8 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Mr. Chung Mo-nan

Subject matter
Famille rose (French: “rose family”) is the group of Chinese porcelain wares characterized by decoration painted in opaque overglaze rose colors, often involving shades of pink and carmine. These colors were known to the Chinese as yangcai (洋彩, “foreign colors”) because they were first introduced from Europe (around 1685). The enamel paint used was originally the type of glaze applied to metal wares, such as cloisonné, and was adapted to porcelain after it entered China. 
       By the time of the reign of Yongzheng (雍正, 1722–35) in the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), these shades were favored over the translucent famille verte (five-colored ware) overglaze colors that were previously used. Famille rose porcelain reached a climax of perfection at Jingdezhen under the directions of Nian Xiyao (年希堯, ?–1739) and Tang Ying (唐英, 1682-1756), and continued with great delicacy through the Qianlong (乾隆) period (1735-1796). 
       Nowadays, the term fencai (粉彩, literally “pink color”) is perhaps more commonly used, and is almost interchangeable with yangcai (洋彩). However, fencai did not appear in official records until the beginning of the 20th century.


Physical Description
This bowl flares out by having a smaller diameter on the bottom and larger diameter along the rim. The outside of the bowl is decorated with red, pink, and yellow peonies with green leaves. The inside of the bowl is decorated with a red rooster. The outside rim of the bowl has two red horizontal stripes, the top rim of the bowl is wavy with many bumps that resemble flower petals, the inside rim is decorated with more peonies. The foot of the bowl it tall.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)
Decorative Arts

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Paeonia (genus)
bowls (vessels)
famille rose
porcelain (material)
roosters (birds)

& Author Notes

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