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!

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ANTIQUE FENTON BLUE SWUNG BUTTERFLY AND BERRY CARNIVAL GLASS VASE
ANTIQUE FENTON BLUE SWUNG BUTTERFLY AND BERRY CARNIVAL GLASS VASE
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antique CZECHOSLOVAKIA CASED GLASS GOLD BUTTERFLIES CHALICE MANTEL VASE MOSER
antique CZECHOSLOVAKIA CASED GLASS GOLD BUTTERFLIES CHALICE MANTEL VASE MOSER
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Fenton Burmese papillon vase limited butterfly
Fenton Burmese papillon vase limited butterfly
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Cameo Glass 1970s Misu Coman Romanian Butterfly Vase
Cameo Glass 1970s Misu Coman Romanian Butterfly Vase
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Clear Glass Lenox Butterfly Lady Bug Flowers Handpainted Vase
Clear Glass Lenox Butterfly Lady Bug Flowers Handpainted Vase
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LOETZ BLUE PAPILLON BUTTERFLY TAPERED CABINET SHOULDER VASE GREAT COLOR
LOETZ BLUE PAPILLON BUTTERFLY TAPERED CABINET SHOULDER VASE GREAT COLOR
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Beautiful engraved clear glass vase peacock butterfly with flowers
Beautiful engraved clear glass vase peacock butterfly with flowers
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NEW Lalique Papillon Butterfly Vase in Mint Condition RARE
NEW Lalique Papillon Butterfly Vase in Mint Condition RARE
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Bohemia Art Glass Vase Topaz Cut Butterfly Flower OL
Bohemia Art Glass Vase Topaz Cut Butterfly Flower OL
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Moser Decorated Vase with Applied Glass Butterflies
Moser Decorated Vase with Applied Glass Butterflies
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Rare Kjellander Sweden Crystal Vase Etched Boy  Butterflies 3
Rare Kjellander Sweden Crystal Vase Etched Boy Butterflies 3
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Large Fenton Hand Painted Burmese Glass Vase GSE 2004 Purple Butterflies 3269
Large Fenton Hand Painted Burmese Glass Vase GSE 2004 Purple Butterflies 3269
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SIGNED ROYAL COPENHAGEN DIANA SERIES BUTTERFLY VASE 1044 5141 DENMARK
SIGNED ROYAL COPENHAGEN DIANA SERIES BUTTERFLY VASE 1044 5141 DENMARK
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Antique Victorian Bohemian Harrach Blue Art Glass Vase Enameled Butterfly Flower
Antique Victorian Bohemian Harrach Blue Art Glass Vase Enameled Butterfly Flower
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Fenton Art Glass Hand Painted Butterfly Hydrangea on Pink Burmese Vase V77957
Fenton Art Glass Hand Painted Butterfly Hydrangea on Pink Burmese Vase V77957
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7789 Straits HomeGift Butterfly Glass Decoration Vase 3 Colours
7789 Straits HomeGift Butterfly Glass Decoration Vase 3 Colours
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EAPG US Glass Co Peonies and Butterflies Large Vase
EAPG US Glass Co Peonies and Butterflies Large Vase
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FENTON HP FLOWERS  BUTTERFLY ON BLUE TOPAZ IRIDESCENT DIAMOND OPTIC VASE  BOX
FENTON HP FLOWERS BUTTERFLY ON BLUE TOPAZ IRIDESCENT DIAMOND OPTIC VASE BOX
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FENTON BUTTERFLY FLOWERS ON COBALT BLUE FINE RIB VASE
FENTON BUTTERFLY FLOWERS ON COBALT BLUE FINE RIB VASE
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RUBINA Boyd Art Glass URN Miniature Vase Hand Painted Butterfly Figurine
RUBINA Boyd Art Glass URN Miniature Vase Hand Painted Butterfly Figurine
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Boyd Glass URN Miniature Vase Hand Painted Weixlmann Figurine Butterfly Vaseline
Boyd Glass URN Miniature Vase Hand Painted Weixlmann Figurine Butterfly Vaseline
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Vintage Artist Lindstrand Glass Kosta Boda Sweden Butterfly Flower Bud Vase
Vintage Artist Lindstrand Glass Kosta Boda Sweden Butterfly Flower Bud Vase
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Big Butterfly  Flower Etched Mid Century Modern Scandinavian Art Glass Vase
Big Butterfly Flower Etched Mid Century Modern Scandinavian Art Glass Vase
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Godinger Studio Crystal Butterfly Vase Flora Collection New 85
Godinger Studio Crystal Butterfly Vase Flora Collection New 85
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Ruffle Vase Green Glass Hand Painted 5  t HB flowers butterfly Vtg rim crack
Ruffle Vase Green Glass Hand Painted 5 t HB flowers butterfly Vtg rim crack
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Fenton Butterfly Crest Vase Favrene Blue 2004 Collection 64 Signed MIB
Fenton Butterfly Crest Vase Favrene Blue 2004 Collection 64 Signed MIB
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12 3 4 Art Glass Cameo Butterfly Flowers Amethyst  Green Vase signed Galle
12 3 4 Art Glass Cameo Butterfly Flowers Amethyst Green Vase signed Galle
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Emile Galle Style Art Nouveau Cameo Glass Vase Butterfly Design Signed Repro
Emile Galle Style Art Nouveau Cameo Glass Vase Butterfly Design Signed Repro
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Fenton KELSEY MURPHY Sand Carved RUBY VASE IRISES  BUTTERFLIES  FREEusaSHIP
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Rick Hunter Cobalt Blue Butterfly Wing American Art Glass Vase Hand Blown Signed
Rick Hunter Cobalt Blue Butterfly Wing American Art Glass Vase Hand Blown Signed
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Butterfly Signed ORREFORS vase Cut Numbered For CHARITY
Butterfly Signed ORREFORS vase Cut Numbered For CHARITY
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Fenton VASE Blue Burmese Satin BUTTERFLIES  VIOLETS OOAK FREEusaSHIP
Fenton VASE Blue Burmese Satin BUTTERFLIES VIOLETS OOAK FREEusaSHIP
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Fenton VASE Caribbean Blue Satin BUTTERFLIES  VIOLETS OOAK FREEusaSHIP
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Fenton Vase VIOLET Adams Rib BUTTERFLY KISSES 6656EM  FREE USA SHIPPING
Fenton Vase VIOLET Adams Rib BUTTERFLY KISSES 6656EM FREE USA SHIPPING
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Bristol ART GLASS Bud VASE White Satin w Gold Butterfly fuchia bud twisted stem
Bristol ART GLASS Bud VASE White Satin w Gold Butterfly fuchia bud twisted stem
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Waterford Crystal Butterfly 11 Inch Vase New in open box
Waterford Crystal Butterfly 11 Inch Vase New in open box
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Block 24 Full Lead Clear Frosted Crystal 7 Butterfly Vase
Block 24 Full Lead Clear Frosted Crystal 7 Butterfly Vase
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Orrefors Vase Sweden Sven Palmqvist Etched Butterfly Signed VTG Mid Century
Orrefors Vase Sweden Sven Palmqvist Etched Butterfly Signed VTG Mid Century
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Lenox BUTTERFLY MEADOW HANDPAINTED 9 1 2 Flower Vase 6765843
Lenox BUTTERFLY MEADOW HANDPAINTED 9 1 2 Flower Vase 6765843
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Vtg Orrefors Sweden Art Glass Vase Butterfly Birds  Flowers 9 1 2 thick
Vtg Orrefors Sweden Art Glass Vase Butterfly Birds Flowers 9 1 2 thick
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