Room 9


Case 51

“Famille rose” enamel-painted porcelains 粉彩瓷器

Porcelain from the Jingdezhen kilns 景德鎮窯, Jiangxi Province 江西省, Qing dynasty 清代 (1644-1911).

The term “famille rose” is used to describe objects decorated with coloured enamels including the famous pink from which they take their name, and which appeared only at a late stage. This colloidal gold-based enamel is also often called “Cassius purple”, after the doctor Andreas Cassius of Leyden, thought to have invented it in Europe at the end of the seventeenth century. It was first used in glassmaking in Europe and reached Chinese pottery workshops in the early eighteenth century through the Jesuits. It is most likely for this reason that it is still referred to today as yangcai 洋彩, or “foreign colours”.

  1. Pair of bowls with orchids and butterflies design 粉彩蘭花與蝴蝶紋碗一對

    Mark of Chenghua 成化 (1464-1487), reign of Kangxi 康熙 (1662-1722) or Yongzheng 雍正 (1723-1735)

    CB-CC-1934-601 and CB-CC-1934-602
  2. “Famille rose” bowl with quail design 粉彩雙鵪鶉紋碗

    Mark and reign of Yongzheng 雍正 (1723-1735)


    Ce décor formule des vœux pour la nouvelle année.
  3. “Famille rose” dish with peach flower design, symbol of longevity 粉彩祝壽紋大盤

    Mark and reign of Yongzheng 雍正 (1723-1735)

  4. “Famille rose” bowl with butterfly design 粉彩雙蝴蝶紋碗

    Mark and reign of Yongzheng 雍正 (1723-1735)


    The pair of butterflies is a reference to the ill-fated love of Liang Shanbo 梁山伯 and Zhu Yingtai 祝英台.
  5. Pair of “famille rose” bowls  粉彩碗一對

    Mark and reign of Yongzheng 雍正 (1723-1735)

    CB-CC-1929-594 et CB-CC-1929-595

    Bats and peaches are symbols of happiness and longevity.
  6. Water pot painted in “famille rose” enamels 粉彩水盂

    Qing Dynasty, second quarter of 18th c.


    This composition, combining a purple cockerel’s crest and a carp, forms a rebus expressing a wish for social advancement.
  7. Snuff bottle with “famille rose” enamels on copper medallions set in coral 粉彩鼻煙壺

    Mark of Qianlong 乾隆 (1736-1795), Imperial Palace workshop


    The decoration on both faces, with two magpies on one side and two quails on the other, symbolises conjugal bliss.