A Big Contracting Colours (Doucai) Dragon Phenix Bottle Gourd

£595.00 inc. Vat

Exquisitely exquisite – fine art reproduction of a vase from the Qing Dynasty 


Out of stock


The handcrafted fine art reproduction of a vase from The Yongzheng reign (1678 – 1735) of the Qing Dynasty by Jingdezhen kiln.

This beautiful vase is hand-painted with an underglaze blue six-character in Zhuan style in writing the Yongzheng period (1678 -1735) mark to the base, is finely painted with a flying silver phoenix and a five-clawed blue and white dragon on the top ball and a red dancing dragon on the bottom ball, both are nesting in a variety of shaped and coloured daisies.

The natural “S” form of gourd has a strong dynamic beauty. The upper and lower parts of the spheres with different sizes are connected by a waist with a particularly large curvature, which resembles a graceful girl in the soft repetition and echoing. The Chinese homonym of the calabash is “Fu” and “Lu” to express people’s pursuits of happiness and the high status in society. Therefore, the gourd has been loved by people from all class of life in the past.

Since the pre and mid-Qianlong period belonged to the most prosperous period of official kiln porcelain production in the Qing Dynasty, the overall technical level of the imperial factory was relatively high, and the gourd bottle was continuously innovated in terms of shape. During this period, the colors of the gourd vase were various, including blue and white, blue and white glaze red, bucket color, colorful, pastel, glaze red, carmine, tea powder, blue glaze, white glaze, yellow glaze, enamel, etc. A variety of glaze colors, especially in-glaze red and enamel color, are very precious. Red in the glaze is one of the underglaze decoration methods of porcelain. It was created in the Yuan Dynasty. Its firing conditions were extremely harsh and the firing technology was difficult, so it could not be mass-produced and the yield was low. It is for this reason that the red glaze was once broken in history, and it was not restored until the Kangxi, Yongzheng, and Qianlong dynasties of the Qing Dynasty. Especially in the Qianlong Dynasty, the red glaze was highly respected by the royal family. The entire firing process must be personally involved. Red in the glaze is very rare nowadays, and the truly colorful ones are even rarer, so the red in glaze gourd bottle is quite precious. Among the gourd bottles in the Qianlong period, the most valuable is the enamel color gourd bottle, which not only uses the best-imported color materials but also has the same complex firing process and low success rate as the red gourd bottle in glaze.

Doucai (Chinese斗彩Wade–Gilestou-ts’ai) is a technique in painted Chinese porcelain, where parts of the design, and some outlines of the rest, are painted in underglaze blue, and the piece is then glazed and fired. The rest of the design is then added in overglaze enamels of different colours and the piece fired again at a lower temperature of about 850°C to 900°C. The style began in the 15th century under the Ming dynasty in the imperial factories at Jingdezhen, and its finest products come from a few years in the reign of the Chenghua Emperor, mostly small pieces like the famous Chicken cups.[2] The style was discontinued after a few decades, as a suitable overglaze blue was developed, but later revived under the Qing dynasty. It is not to be confused with the wucai style, which was a related early technique for polychrome painting.[3] Doucai can be translated as “contrasting colours”,[4] “fitted colours”,[5] “colours which fit together” or “dove-tailed colours”.

Country of Origin
Jing De Zhen, Jiangxi Province China

Dimensions for Each Sculpture
Height 55cm x Diameter 38cm max to 7.5cm min. Base 18cm


1.6kg each

Care Instructions
Clean with a soft cloth or a feather duster

Delivery Details
You are always welcome to collect the item at our shop free of charge

The item comes with an original box and will be dispatched within 3 working days after the payment has been received if the delivery required
Delivery Cost within mainland UK for this item – £30 incl. insurance

Any enquiries please contact us on info@nookdeco.co.uk

Additional information

Weight 12 kg
Dimensions 60 × 38 × 38 cm