A Kangxi Period Porcelain Buckle

A Kangxi Period Porcelain Buckle

Contributed by by Lim Yah Chiew, SEACS Vice-President (2016) and Founder of Yingliuzhai Antique Ceramics Research Society

I have kept a porcelain buckle, which was produced in early Qing dynasty of the Kangxi period. The colors are brilliant and of the famille verte style, which means pigments of five colors were used to paint the motif over the glaze. Only after the Kangxi period that the famille rose pigments, meaning powdery colors including pink, sky blue and light green could be found on the motif.

On this piece, we can see a carp fish jumping up high from the sea, and once the fish can get through the dragon gate on top, it will turn into a dragon.  It bears significant symbolism to congratulate a scholar who passed the imperial examination and would soon be appointed as a high ranking official to serve in the Imperial Court.

I like this piece as it reflects the life of our ancestors three hundred years ago and that the use of a buckle made in porcelain bears such a great similarity to what we wear in this modern era; and the difference being we use a metal buckle. I envy the porcelain buckle as it appears to be more elegant and scholarly, particularly in its craftsmanship and high-skilled art work.