Famille Rose covered jars with phoenix and cranes among peonies

Famille Rose covered jar with phoenix and cranes among peonies

These decorative jars feature botanical motifs in pink hues known as famille rose — which is a French term that translates to “in the pink family.” These famille rose jars are examples of the 18th-century ceramics purchased by James and Nanaline Duke and originally displayed in the Duke family residence at the corner of 78th Street and 5th Avenue in New York City.  

Chinese artisans created these jars specifically for the export market. Everything about them was designed to appeal to Western taste — from the elegant curved shape of the form to the blossoms and bird motifs featured in vivid pink hues.