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Fine Chinese Famille Verte Porcelain Phoenix-Tail Vase

Kangxi period, AD 1662-1722


Beautifully painted with an abundance of decoration of birds on flowering trees amidst rockeries, all magnificently painted in bright and vibrant enamels.
The underfoot with a three character inscription reading: Vessel of Wuwen Temple (see note below)
Height: 18 1/8 inches (46 cm.)
An almost identically decorated Gu form vase from the collection of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (61.200.66).

Note:  It is unexpected to find a vase of this type dedicated to a Temple. The Wuwen Temple (there were several) were founded upon a legend of five gentlemen from Fuzhou, Fujian Province who sacrificed themselves to protect residents from a plague sent by the Demon Wengui.
These five gentlemen are variously called Wufudadi (Emperors of the Five Blessings), Wulinggong (the Five Divine Gentlemen), and Wuwenshen (the Five Spirits of the Plague). Temples were built in the Fuzhou area not only to honor these five men, but also to ward off pestilence. How timely in the current Covid moment! 

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