Qing Dynasty Porcelain Parrots
The Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) was the last dynasty in China’s imperial history. The Imperial Porcelain factories produced a wide range of ceramics and pottery that retain their popularity today. The Qing Dynasty is known for the innovation and production of bright coloured glazes in a variety of colours. European countries were so enamored with Chinese ceramics of this period that Chinese export porcelain was created in these factories specifically for sale to Western countries. Alongside tableware, small animal figurines – particularly parrots and dogs – were popular commodities. Porcelain parrots were typically sold in pairs, symbolizing affection and all encompassing love and fidelity. Parrots were also regarded as symbols of good luck and positive energy. Commonly depicted in flight, or sitting on tree branches, these figurines were often placed on dining room tables or scholars desks. These Qing Dynasty porcelain parrots are decorated with a bold green glaze, accompanied by accents in black, blue, yellow, and orange. The wings and bodies of the parrots are covered in linework, creating texture and visual interest. They have minor damage and wear, consistent with their age.
At this time in China, the Qing Dynasty was the final imperial dynasty, lasting until 1912. Major events in this multi-century period include the first Opium War (1839–1842), the Anglo-French War (1856–1858), the Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895), and the Boxer Rebellion (1900). Political and cultural attitudes were largely conservative, with great emphasis placed on traditions of the past.