Chinese Blanc de chine molded beaker with applied decoration of prunus blossom. Made at the kilns at Dehua where it is renown for the whit porcelain clay.
The decoration to the side is of branches with foliage and blossom of the plum tree.
Chinese plum, Mei, is a species of Asian plum and the blossom has been depicted in Chinese art and poetry for many centuries and still is today. To the Chinese its blossom is both a symbol of winter, as well as a sign of the coming spring. It blooms vibrantly amidst the winter snow after most other plants have shed their leaves, and before other flowers appear. It is seen as an example of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. The plum blossom is a member of `Three Friends of the Winter`, along with pine, and bamboo. The plum blossom is also a member of `Four Gentlemen of Flowers` in Chinese art (the others being orchid, chrysanthemum, and bamboo), symbolizing nobility. It is also one of the four seasonal flowers.
This type was later copied by the early European factories