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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SUPERB ART GLASS POT VASE GLITTER GOLD INNER FAIRIES  BUTTERFLIES APPLIED OUTER
SUPERB ART GLASS POT VASE GLITTER GOLD INNER FAIRIES BUTTERFLIES APPLIED OUTER
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NWT Lalique for Neiman Marcus Crystal Beautiful Blue Butterfly Vase FS
NWT Lalique for Neiman Marcus Crystal Beautiful Blue Butterfly Vase FS
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VINTAGE PAINTED GLASS VASE BUTTERFLY FLOWER UCGC PERU
VINTAGE PAINTED GLASS VASE BUTTERFLY FLOWER UCGC PERU
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FENTON 2004 BUTTERFLY CREST SANDCARVED FAVRENE ART GLASS VASE W PAPERS
FENTON 2004 BUTTERFLY CREST SANDCARVED FAVRENE ART GLASS VASE W PAPERS
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Vintage Bengt Edenfalk Skruf Vase Etched Wheat Butterfly Signed
Vintage Bengt Edenfalk Skruf Vase Etched Wheat Butterfly Signed
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50s MODERNIST STROMBERG SHYTTAN ETCHED BUTTERFLY VASE WITH FLAW
50s MODERNIST STROMBERG SHYTTAN ETCHED BUTTERFLY VASE WITH FLAW
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Rare Large rectangle hand painted butterflies Kosta Boda Vase Ultrica Hydman
Rare Large rectangle hand painted butterflies Kosta Boda Vase Ultrica Hydman
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BUTTERFLY  BLOSSOM VASE WHITE IRIDESCENT Opalescent Carnival Glass Finish 9 VG
BUTTERFLY BLOSSOM VASE WHITE IRIDESCENT Opalescent Carnival Glass Finish 9 VG
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VINTAGE ETCHED VASE WITH BUTTERFLIES ORREFORS  SIGNED NUMBERED
VINTAGE ETCHED VASE WITH BUTTERFLIES ORREFORS SIGNED NUMBERED
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Fenton BUTTERFLIES ON SILVER CREST 4 VASE7254
Fenton BUTTERFLIES ON SILVER CREST 4 VASE7254
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Fenton Glass Butterfly Crest Favrene Hexagonal Connoisseur Vase FREE SHIP LOW 48
Fenton Glass Butterfly Crest Favrene Hexagonal Connoisseur Vase FREE SHIP LOW 48
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Vintage Black Flower Italian Handblown Artisan Vase Butterflies Collectible Arts
Vintage Black Flower Italian Handblown Artisan Vase Butterflies Collectible Arts
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FENTON MILK GLASS BUTTERFLY 8 BUD VASE SIGNED B
FENTON MILK GLASS BUTTERFLY 8 BUD VASE SIGNED B
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Iridescent Art Glass Bud Vase Glasshouse Studios SIGNED DATED Butterfly Vintage
Iridescent Art Glass Bud Vase Glasshouse Studios SIGNED DATED Butterfly Vintage
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MOSER SPAINISH ROJO AMBER ART GLASS 183CM VASE WITH H P BUTTERFLY
MOSER SPAINISH ROJO AMBER ART GLASS 183CM VASE WITH H P BUTTERFLY
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VINTAGE TALL LEAD CUT GLASS CRYSTAL VASE BUTTERFLY HEAVY BEAUTIFUL LEADED PIECE
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Rare Gullaskruf Arthur Percy 1952 Teal Cut Butterflies Pattern Vase Stands 12 H
Rare Gullaskruf Arthur Percy 1952 Teal Cut Butterflies Pattern Vase Stands 12 H
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PALE PINK CASED BLOWN GLASS VASE CUT TO CLEAR PORT BUTTERFLIES MADE IN SPAIN
PALE PINK CASED BLOWN GLASS VASE CUT TO CLEAR PORT BUTTERFLIES MADE IN SPAIN
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alalbert arnitslongview washingtoncrystal glass bud vasebutterfly flowersA
alalbert arnitslongview washingtoncrystal glass bud vasebutterfly flowersA
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alalbert arnitslongview washingtoncrystal glass bud vasebutterfly flowersB
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FENTON MILK GLASS BUTTERFLYS ON SILVER CREST 8 LARGE VASE SIGNED D ANDERSON
FENTON MILK GLASS BUTTERFLYS ON SILVER CREST 8 LARGE VASE SIGNED D ANDERSON
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Fine 10 Legras Art Nouveau Enameled Glass Vase w Butterflies c 1910 antique
Fine 10 Legras Art Nouveau Enameled Glass Vase w Butterflies c 1910 antique
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VINTAGE TALL GLASS AMBER VASE GOLDFLOWERSLOTUS BLOSSOMSBUTTERFLIES DECORATED
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FENTON Burmese Vase BUTTERFLY GEORGE W FENTON HAND PAINTED KEASTON
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ORIENT  FLUME Butterfly  Pink Mums FLOWER Glass VASE Beyers Sillars
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Pair of Victorian Blue Bristol Glass Vases MONARCH BUTTERFLIES Raised Enamel
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FENTON BURMESE TALL HAND PAINTED JACK PULPUT BUTTERFLY VASE LIMITED EDITION
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StrombergShyttan art vase etched girl and butterfly FREE SHIPPING
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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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Orrefors Crystal Engraved Butterfly Vase
Orrefors Crystal Engraved Butterfly Vase
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Victorian Bristol Glass Vase White Pink Hand Enamel Painted Butterfly Flowers
Victorian Bristol Glass Vase White Pink Hand Enamel Painted Butterfly Flowers
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Fenton VASE Blue Burmese Satin BUTTERFLIES  VIOLETS OOAK FREEusaSHIP
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Fenton VASE Caribbean Blue Satin BUTTERFLIES  VIOLETS OOAK FREEusaSHIP
Fenton VASE Caribbean Blue Satin BUTTERFLIES VIOLETS OOAK FREEusaSHIP
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2000 Fenton Art Glass Lotus Mist Burmese Vase Hand Painted Berry and Butterfly
2000 Fenton Art Glass Lotus Mist Burmese Vase Hand Painted Berry and Butterfly
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PAIR OF BRISTOL VASES 9 TALL BLUE BACKGROUND BUTTERFLIES  FLOWERS
PAIR OF BRISTOL VASES 9 TALL BLUE BACKGROUND BUTTERFLIES FLOWERS
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2 LENOX Hand Painted Crystal Bees Ladybugs And Butterflys 6 Tall Vase
2 LENOX Hand Painted Crystal Bees Ladybugs And Butterflys 6 Tall Vase
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Engraved Signature SKRUF SWEDEN FLOATING BUTTERFLY Paperweight Glass Vase
Engraved Signature SKRUF SWEDEN FLOATING BUTTERFLY Paperweight Glass Vase
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FENTON 2003 6 BUTTERFLY  DAGONFLY CRANBERRY OPALESCENT VASE QVC 2003
FENTON 2003 6 BUTTERFLY DAGONFLY CRANBERRY OPALESCENT VASE QVC 2003
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Orrefors Signed Butterfly Glass Bud Vase
Orrefors Signed Butterfly Glass Bud Vase
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