Vase (one of a pair)
Artist/maker unknown, Chinese
This vase, one of a pair, is decorated with an idyllic garden scene: pheasants perch on rocks amid flowering peonies and magnolias, while blue jays cavort in the branches above. Along the shoulder are the symbols of the "Four Accomplishments" of the Chinese scholar: a pair of scrolls (painting), bound books (calligraphy), a wrapped qin or lute (music), and a game board and pieces (playing xiangqi, a type of Chinese chess game). The auspicious bees, butterflies, and floral sprays at the neck of the vase complete the picture of an ideal scholar's world.