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 American Brilliant Crystal Etched Butterfly  Floral Bud Vase
Antique American Brilliant Crystal Etched Butterfly Floral Bud Vase
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Signed Rick Hunter COBALT BLUE BUTTERFLY WING Art Glass Vase
Signed Rick Hunter COBALT BLUE BUTTERFLY WING Art Glass Vase
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Vintage Pair Kosta Sweden Crystal Teardrop Bud Vase Etched Flowers Butterflies
Vintage Pair Kosta Sweden Crystal Teardrop Bud Vase Etched Flowers Butterflies
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Signed 1941 PASLY French Marbleized Glass 9 1 2 Green Vase w Brass Butterfly
Signed 1941 PASLY French Marbleized Glass 9 1 2 Green Vase w Brass Butterfly
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Butterfly Signed ORREFORS vase Cut Numbered For CHARITY
Butterfly Signed ORREFORS vase Cut Numbered For CHARITY
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BUTTERFLY LALIQUE VASE 65 Tall Made In France
BUTTERFLY LALIQUE VASE 65 Tall Made In France
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Fenton Iridescent Millennium Collection Butterfly Vase Signed Hand Painted
Fenton Iridescent Millennium Collection Butterfly Vase Signed Hand Painted
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FENTON LOTUS MIST DAISYBUTTERFLY 10 VASE 2001 LTD EDITION 1524 2750
FENTON LOTUS MIST DAISYBUTTERFLY 10 VASE 2001 LTD EDITION 1524 2750
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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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FINE ANTIQUE COBALT OVERLAY BUTTERFLY CZECH BOHEMIAN ART GLASS VASE BY HARRACH
FINE ANTIQUE COBALT OVERLAY BUTTERFLY CZECH BOHEMIAN ART GLASS VASE BY HARRACH
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BRISTOL GLASS RUFFLE VASE HAND BLOWN HAND PAINTED BLUE BIRD BUTTERFLY
BRISTOL GLASS RUFFLE VASE HAND BLOWN HAND PAINTED BLUE BIRD BUTTERFLY
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2006 Fenton Glass Handpainted Butterfly Kiss on Violet Tall Vase
2006 Fenton Glass Handpainted Butterfly Kiss on Violet Tall Vase
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Beautiful Old RUBY RED GLASS VASE with Gold Details Butterflies
Beautiful Old RUBY RED GLASS VASE with Gold Details Butterflies
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Vintage Bohemian Pink Crystal Flower Vase with Hand painted Flowers Butterfly
Vintage Bohemian Pink Crystal Flower Vase with Hand painted Flowers Butterfly
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Orrefors Crystal Scandinavian Art Glass Small Butterfly Vase Signed d Etched
Orrefors Crystal Scandinavian Art Glass Small Butterfly Vase Signed d Etched
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Signed Orient  Flume Fushia  Butterfly Art Glass Vase PO187F55289 Sillars
Signed Orient Flume Fushia Butterfly Art Glass Vase PO187F55289 Sillars
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2 JIRI SUHAJEK Signed Moser Czech Bohemian Butterfly Champagne Art Glass Vase
2 JIRI SUHAJEK Signed Moser Czech Bohemian Butterfly Champagne Art Glass Vase
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Fenton Art Glass OOAK Handpainted Butterflies on Lotus Mist Burmese Vase
Fenton Art Glass OOAK Handpainted Butterflies on Lotus Mist Burmese Vase
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Vintage Antique Italian Italy Satin White Glass 2 Bud Vase Vases Butterfly
Vintage Antique Italian Italy Satin White Glass 2 Bud Vase Vases Butterfly
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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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26 Lead Crystal Butterfly Vase French Heavy Cut Scalloped Edge Beautiful LOOK
26 Lead Crystal Butterfly Vase French Heavy Cut Scalloped Edge Beautiful LOOK
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FRINGE STUDIO 16 BUTTERFLY DECORATED RECTANGULAR ART GLASS VASE
FRINGE STUDIO 16 BUTTERFLY DECORATED RECTANGULAR ART GLASS VASE
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Fenton Iridescent Blue Stretch Glass Vase J Powell has sticker butterfly
Fenton Iridescent Blue Stretch Glass Vase J Powell has sticker butterfly
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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 BILL FENTON AND GEORGE FENTON SIGNED MULBERRY VASE BUTTERFLY
FENTON BILL FENTON AND GEORGE FENTON SIGNED MULBERRY VASE BUTTERFLY
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ORREFORS GLASS Vase Pattern 3705 Flowers  Butterflies
ORREFORS GLASS Vase Pattern 3705 Flowers Butterflies
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Fenton Iridescent Millennium Collection Butterfly Vase Signed Hand Painted
Fenton Iridescent Millennium Collection Butterfly Vase Signed Hand Painted
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SMALL INTENSELY Exquisite MOSER Glass VASE 1800s Hand Painted BUTTERFLY Blossoms
SMALL INTENSELY Exquisite MOSER Glass VASE 1800s Hand Painted BUTTERFLY Blossoms
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Handpainted Mosser Using Fenton Mold Floral Butterfly Vase Signed B Newton MINT
Handpainted Mosser Using Fenton Mold Floral Butterfly Vase Signed B Newton MINT
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Vintage Strombergshyttan Etched Glass Vase with Butterfly Sweden
Vintage Strombergshyttan Etched Glass Vase with Butterfly Sweden
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VINTAGE HAND PAINTED GLASS VASE 16 BUTTERFLIES  FLOWERS UCGC PERU
VINTAGE HAND PAINTED GLASS VASE 16 BUTTERFLIES FLOWERS UCGC PERU
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Waterford Crystal Butterfly 11 Inch Vase
Waterford Crystal Butterfly 11 Inch Vase
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VINTAGE TIFFIN BLACK Amethyst BUD VASE GOLD TRIM With Butterfly
VINTAGE TIFFIN BLACK Amethyst BUD VASE GOLD TRIM With Butterfly
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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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Vintage 1990s Blown Glass Vase Butterfly Wisteria Painted Liquid Lead Method
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Fenton Millennium Collection Opalescent Topaz Butterfly Vase 691 GORGEOUS
Fenton Millennium Collection Opalescent Topaz Butterfly Vase 691 GORGEOUS
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Fenton Signed Lustre Glass Vase Butterfly Rare Millenium Collection
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Fenton Gold Amberina Butterfly Soltice Vase Connoisseur Collection
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Peking glass vase butterfly white to orange Lot 184
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Amia Glass Vase 6 in Blue Skies Bluebirds NIB
Amia Glass Vase 6 in Blue Skies Bluebirds NIB
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