Handles on marriage bowls are most commonly carved as bats or dragons,however the unusual use of the butterflies on the current bowl is highly auspicious at a number of different levels and is an appropriate symbol to complement the use of this bowl as a marriage gift. The two handles depicting butterflies facing one another signify the joyful meeting between a man and wife. The combination of butterflies and gourds in the band to the exterior is a pun on the wish for progeny, the Chinese words for gourds, gua and butterflies die being homonyms for part of the phrase guadie mianmian, 'May there be ceaseless generations of sons and grandsons'. The depiction of the long gourd stems bearing many fruits with plentiful seeds re-enforces the image. Finally the sanduo roundel in the centre of the bowl represents the wish for blessings, long life and many sons.
Compare to a similar example illusrated by S. Nott in Chinese Jades Throughout the Ages, London, 1936, pl. CXCIX; and aother illustrated by the same author, in The Flowery Kingdom, New York, 1947, pl. CIII.