Lily

萱草 (百合花)

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Xuan 萱’ comes from ‘xuan cao 萱草’, the Chinese name for ‘lily’. In traditional Chinese decorative arts, lily flowers symbolise motherhood and maternal bonds with children, and they figure prominently on articles created for mothers, expecting or being a birthday girl.

Related Pun Picture:

May mother live up to a ripe old age 萱耋

Related Motif & Symbol:

Happy Birthday, Mother! 萱寿

Acknowledgement:

Fig 1: porcelain bowl with underglaze blue decoration, Chenghua period (1465–87), Ming dynasty, courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art

Fig 2-3: enamel porcelain cup, Yongzheng period (1723–35), Qing dynasty, courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei

Fig 4-6: enamel porcelain bowl, Yongzheng period (1723–35), Qing dynasty, courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei

Fig 7: porcelain vase with enamelled decoration, Qianlong period (1736–95), Qing dynasty, courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum

Fig 8-9: enamel porcelain basin, Guangxu period (1875–1908), Qing dynasty, courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei

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