Butterfly Vase

What do the different shapes of carved Chinese jade signify?

I know that the hand-carved shapes of Chinese jade stand for different things. The animals of the Chinese zodiac are representative of themselves, for example. But there are other shapes... butterfly, vase, etc. and I was told that each of them had some meaning. I have looked everywhere I can think to look online, with no answers. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks!

Yes, almost everything is symbolic of something in Chinese culture! It would take a THICK book to even begin to scratch the surface of Chinese symbolism & motifs!

I've listed a few common symbols and their general meaning:

Butterfly - Emblem of joy; Symbol of summer

Bat - Sounds similar to the character for happiness: Fu(2). Emblem of happiness and longevity. The design of 5 bats is a pictorial rebus for the "5 Blessings" ie old age, wealth, health, love of virtue and natural death(!). Often symbols of bats are so decorative that they apear to be butterflies.

Flowers - Certain flowers represent different times of the year. For e.g. Peony:Spring, Lotus:Summer, Chrysanthemum:Autumn and Plum Blossom:Winter.

Vase - The gift of a vase symbolises "peace" as the sound of the character for vase is similar to the character for peace.

Bamboo - Commonly known as "the friend of China". It is an emblem of longevity because it is durable and evergreen adn flourishes throughout the winter.

There's not much information online I'm afraid. Not that I know of anyway. However, there are books you can rfer to on this subject matter. A standard reference volume for many students of China/Chinese culture is, "Chinese Symbolism & Art Motifss" written by C.A.S. Williams. ISBN 0-8048-1586-0. It explains essential cultural symbols and contains interesting information on Chinese beliefs, customs, arts and crafts, food, medicine etc. I own this book and I think you will find it useful.

Hope that helps!

Find Butterfly Vase On eBay Below:

Vintage JOHANS FORS SWEDEN Etched Butterfly On Flower Design GLASS Vase
Vintage JOHANS FORS SWEDEN Etched Butterfly On Flower Design GLASS Vase
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FENTON BURMESE GLASS Hand Painted BUTTERFLY VASE Signed George Fenton
FENTON BURMESE GLASS Hand Painted BUTTERFLY VASE Signed George Fenton
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ORIENT  FLUME Butterfly  Pink Mums FLOWER Glass VASE Beyers Sillars
ORIENT FLUME Butterfly Pink Mums FLOWER Glass VASE Beyers Sillars
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Fenton Signed Glass Pearly Lustre Vase Butterfly Millenium Collection
Fenton Signed Glass Pearly Lustre Vase Butterfly Millenium Collection
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Hand Cut Lead Crystal Glass Bowl 4 x2 3 4 Footed Vase Flower Butterfly Star
Hand Cut Lead Crystal Glass Bowl 4 x2 3 4 Footed Vase Flower Butterfly Star
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Lenox BUTTERFLY MEADOW 8 1 8 Bud Vase 3942633
Lenox BUTTERFLY MEADOW 8 1 8 Bud Vase 3942633
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Orrefors 4 3 4 inch Crystal Bud Vase With Etched Butterflies signed
Orrefors 4 3 4 inch Crystal Bud Vase With Etched Butterflies signed
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Gibsons Everyday Vase with Hand Painted Floral and Butterflies
Gibsons Everyday Vase with Hand Painted Floral and Butterflies
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FANTASTIC C 1890 WEBB VASE WITH APPLIED DRAGON AND BUTTERFLIES
FANTASTIC C 1890 WEBB VASE WITH APPLIED DRAGON AND BUTTERFLIES
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Strombergshyttan Swedish Blue Crystal Vase Cut Girl Flowers Butterflies 7 1 4 T
Strombergshyttan Swedish Blue Crystal Vase Cut Girl Flowers Butterflies 7 1 4 T
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FENTON ART GLASS BUTTERFLIES ON MILK GLASS CRYSTAL CRIMPED VASE
FENTON ART GLASS BUTTERFLIES ON MILK GLASS CRYSTAL CRIMPED VASE
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Mt Washington Art Glass Ruffled Vase Hand Painted Butterfly Rose Crest 1800s
Mt Washington Art Glass Ruffled Vase Hand Painted Butterfly Rose Crest 1800s
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Fenton Amethyst Diamond Bell With Butterfly  Grass MINT Low Price MBG
Fenton Amethyst Diamond Bell With Butterfly Grass MINT Low Price MBG
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FENTON HAND PAINTED SILVER CREST VASE BUTTERFLIES VINTAGE LABEL SIGNED
FENTON HAND PAINTED SILVER CREST VASE BUTTERFLIES VINTAGE LABEL SIGNED
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AMIA Glass Vase 6 Inch Butterfly Garden In Bloom NIB
AMIA Glass Vase 6 Inch Butterfly Garden In Bloom NIB
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VTG Orrefors Crystal Vase Engraved Butterfly P2793 Palmqvist 1943 Rare
VTG Orrefors Crystal Vase Engraved Butterfly P2793 Palmqvist 1943 Rare
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ART NOUVEAU FRANCE FRENCH CAMEO FROSTED SATIN GLASS VASE ROSE FLOWER
ART NOUVEAU FRANCE FRENCH CAMEO FROSTED SATIN GLASS VASE ROSE FLOWER
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Beautiful WATERFORD Crystal Butterfly Butterflies Glass Bud Vase 8 No Box
Beautiful WATERFORD Crystal Butterfly Butterflies Glass Bud Vase 8 No Box
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Bristol 13 Vintage LARGE RARE HANDPAINTED RUFFLED VASE w FLOWER + BUTTERFLY
Bristol 13 Vintage LARGE RARE HANDPAINTED RUFFLED VASE w FLOWER + BUTTERFLY
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pink triangle butterfly vase
pink triangle butterfly vase
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Fenton hand painted signed Millennium Collection aurene look w butterfly vase
Fenton hand painted signed Millennium Collection aurene look w butterfly vase
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EAPG ANTIQUE PRESSED GLASS VASE SPOONER BUTTERFLY AND THISTLE
EAPG ANTIQUE PRESSED GLASS VASE SPOONER BUTTERFLY AND THISTLE
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Made In Italy Norleans Large Ruby Vase with Flower and Butterfly Decals
Made In Italy Norleans Large Ruby Vase with Flower and Butterfly Decals
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VINTAGE FENTON VASE HAND PAINTED YELLOW  BLUE FLOWERS  BUTTERFLIES H SIGNED
VINTAGE FENTON VASE HAND PAINTED YELLOW BLUE FLOWERS BUTTERFLIES H SIGNED
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1981 Vintage Fenton HP Louise Piper Spanish Lace Silver Cr Butterflies flowers
1981 Vintage Fenton HP Louise Piper Spanish Lace Silver Cr Butterflies flowers
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Waterford Crystal Butterfly 11 Inch Vase
Waterford Crystal Butterfly 11 Inch Vase
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Czech art deco silver on black amethyst butterfly vase
Czech art deco silver on black amethyst butterfly vase
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CAMEO GLASS ART STYLE VASE BUTTERFLY AND FLOWER SIGEND
CAMEO GLASS ART STYLE VASE BUTTERFLY AND FLOWER SIGEND
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BEAUTIFUL 19th C CRANBERRY GLASS BOTTLE VASE with GILT DECORATION
BEAUTIFUL 19th C CRANBERRY GLASS BOTTLE VASE with GILT DECORATION
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glass vase green with sand carved flowers and butterflies etched Hand blown
glass vase green with sand carved flowers and butterflies etched Hand blown
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TELEFLORA Pink Frosted Etched BUTTERFLIES Glass Triangle Vase Beautiful 7 tall
TELEFLORA Pink Frosted Etched BUTTERFLIES Glass Triangle Vase Beautiful 7 tall
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VINTAGE GLASS VASE BIRDS ON BRANCH WITH FLOWERS  BUTTERFLY
VINTAGE GLASS VASE BIRDS ON BRANCH WITH FLOWERS BUTTERFLY
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Hofbauer Echt Bleikristall Butterfly Tall Flower Vase 10 Inches
Hofbauer Echt Bleikristall Butterfly Tall Flower Vase 10 Inches
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Vintage VERLYS Art Deco Ivory Pale Yellow Opalescent Glass Butterfly Vase
Vintage VERLYS Art Deco Ivory Pale Yellow Opalescent Glass Butterfly Vase
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Lenox Hand Painted Bees And Butterflys 925 Tall Footed Vase
Lenox Hand Painted Bees And Butterflys 925 Tall Footed Vase
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Antique Bohemian Art Nouveau Hand Painted Cut Glass Vase Butterfly Forget Me Not
Antique Bohemian Art Nouveau Hand Painted Cut Glass Vase Butterfly Forget Me Not
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Vintage Fenton Marigold Butterfly  Berry Carnival Glass 9  Vase
Vintage Fenton Marigold Butterfly Berry Carnival Glass 9 Vase
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Fenton KELSEY MURPHY Sand Carved RUBY VASE IRISES  BUTTERFLIES  FREEusaSHIP
Fenton KELSEY MURPHY Sand Carved RUBY VASE IRISES BUTTERFLIES FREEusaSHIP
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Vintage Desna Czech Bohemian Green Malachite Butterfly 3 3 4 Vase MINT
Vintage Desna Czech Bohemian Green Malachite Butterfly 3 3 4 Vase MINT
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Antique Enameled Glass Vase with ButterflyFlowers  Bee Fine Quality Moser
Antique Enameled Glass Vase with ButterflyFlowers Bee Fine Quality Moser
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