Prunus Vase with Blue-and-White Designs of the Eight Treasures and the Eight Diagrams on a Lotus Flower
The Eight Treasures and the Eight Diagrams take up a significant status in the cultural history of China. This Prunus Vase with Blue-and-White Designs of the Eight Treasures and the Eight Diagrams on a Lotus Flower is painted with flower and butterfly designs on the neck; the shoulders are embellished with plucked peony designs; the shin is decorated with four sets of blue-and-white eight-diagram and cloud designs. The themed design painted on the belly is provided with dense religious conception: eight treasures on a lotus flower with twining branches. The Eight Treasures refer to the eight auspicious Dharma vessels worshiped in Buddhist temples, namely wheel of Dharma, the conch shell, the precious parasol, the canopy, lotus flower, the water bottle, the two golden fishes and Shrivatasa. The Eight Diagrams stand for eight natural phenomena including the sky, earth, thunder, wind, water, fire, mountain and river. The designs were originally recording symbols used by the ancient people, which later developed into marks of divination. The Eight Diagrams were usually used as auspicious designs for exorcising disasters in ancient China. Since the unification of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism in the Song Dynasty, the designs of the Eight Diagrams and the Eight Treasures that reflect Taoist and Buddhist ideological connotations have usually been utilized as artistic embellishment.