Qing dynasty (1644–1911), Daoguang mark and period (1821–50)
Porcelain painted with colored enamels over a transparent glaze (Jingdezhen ware)
H. 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm); Diam. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm)
Purchase by subscription, 1879
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 219
The blossoms and leaves on this bowl illustrate an imaginary flower that combines elements of the peony, lotus, chrysanthemum, pomegranate, and other plants. Intended to represent majesty and beauty, this decorative flower (often known as a baoxianghua) first appeared in the sixth or seventh century. Flowers are not found as motifs in Chinese art prior to this period, and it is possible they were introduced with Buddhist imagery.