Bunnies of fortune

 

 

Glastonbury Hare by Christopher Fry - painting of a solitary hare in a field during a Full Moon

‘Glastonbury Hare’ by Christopher Fry

 

Rabbit and hare blessings through the ages

 

The myth of the Moon Gazing Hare has a connection to ancient Pagan beliefs and beyond. They believed that seeing a moon gazing hare was an affirmation of femininity and would bring growth, re-birth, and abundance, new-beginnings and good fortune. The hare was sacred to the goddess Freya and to Ostara, goddess of springtime. This link with the goddess Ostara/Eostre led to the modern day Easter Bunny. At Easter we eat Hot-Cross Buns, the cross on the bun representing the four quarters of the moon while the Easter egg was regarded as a fertility symbol.

The Chinese also saw the rabbit as a sign of feminine luck and growth. I met a Vietnamese girl who related to me that on a full moon , it was traditional in Vietnam for women to go to the beach and absorb the light of the moon. They revered the bodhisattva goddess, Kuan Yin, who had a connection to the moon and the ocean and was regarded as a symbol of fertility, much the same as the rabbit.

 

 

ceramic seated hare sculpture Joe Lawrence

‘Alert Hare’ – Joe Lawrence, via flickr

 

The ancient Persians believed that ‘a rabbit that crosses your path is good luck.’ They also used them as a talisman on their battle armour and on their pottery, as they were a carrier of great luck and were a symbol of generic beneficence. Chinese Taoist legend ascribes the hare as having a role in the alchemical process for Immortality. Algonquin Indians of North America believed that after death, their spirits traveled to a hare god known as Menabosho. The spiral symbol was also depicted with the rabbit for its association with the goddess, fertility, growth, rebirth and continual change. In the Spring, it was considered lucky to see rabbits running through the fields as they were associated with fertility and the return of flowers and other plants.
Eros, the god of love, is sometimes represented carrying a hare, and the hare was a favorite animal of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty. When a hare rested at the feet of the Virgin Mary, it was a symbol of triumph over desires of the flesh. The vision of a bright Full Moon granted love and courage to the blessed.

 

Vintage Carlton ware Rabbits at Dusk vase aRT dECO

Art Deco Carlton Ware ‘Rabbits At Dusk’ vase

 

The rabbit, having shorter front legs, can run fastest uphill, enabling it to elude its pursuers along with its evasive skills. Its unique stride, where its back feet touch the ground before the front feet supported the belief of the luck of the “rabbits foot”, especially the back ones. Plutarch (AD 46 – 120), claimed that with its speed and vigilance the rabbit was blessed with a “divine” gait.
In summation, the hare is a symbol of many things, all involving balance, creative potency, refinement, regeneration, fertility, and eternity. This manifests in the form of  inspiration, the Dawn, the Moon, rebirth, infinity, genius, sacred fire and the Egg. Buddhists and Hindus believed that the hare had the powers of resurrection, manifestation and rejuvenation, similar to the phoenix. The Egyptian hieroglyph for the verb “to be” or “being” was actually a hare crouched over a squiggly line of water.

“On the first day of the month when you wake up in the morning shout ‘White Rabbit’ and when you go to bed at night shout ‘Black Rabbit’ and you will have good luck.” – ancient belief

 

Adrienne-Speer rabbit charger

Adrienne Speer

 

 

Black and white geometric patterned Acoma Pueblo Hand Coiled Pottery Seed Pot - JM Shativa Peublo Direct

Acoma Pueblo Hand Coiled Pottery Seed Pot – JM Shativa

Pueblo Direct

 

 

raku-Hare sculpture-by-Lesley-D-McKenzie

Brown hare – raku sculpture by Lesley D McKenzie, via Flickr

 

 

 

Earthenware, molded and underglaze-painted decoration. Iran, 19th century.

From an illustration for Zakariya al-Qazwini’s book, Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing (13th century).

Louvre

 

 

Elaine-Peto two ceramic hare sculptures

Elaine Peto

“A man who chases two rabbits catches neither.” -Chinese Proverb.

 

 

 

Gin-Durham---White-Hare sculpture

Gin Durham— ‘White Hare’   2015

Hatfield Gallery

 

 

Etruscan-Black-figure-amphora,-c.500-BC-with three hare motifs

Etruscan Black figure amphora

c.500-BC

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Firwel crafts rabbit sculpture

Firwel Crafts Moon Gazing Lunar Hare sculpture – reconstituted stone

 

 

 

Flower-vase-representing-rabbit-and-cabbage-(20th-century),L'Ancora-manufacture

‘Bassano’ flower vase with rabbit and cabbage (20th-century), L’Ancora manufacture, Veneto, Italy

 

 

 

Ra-in-the-form-of-a-feline-slaying-the-snake-Apophis,

Egyptian wall art – Ra in the form of a feline/hare slaying the snake Apophis, Tomb of Inherkha, 1160 BC, Thebes.

The rabbit, being associated with moderation, resists temptation from the serpent.

 

 

Iranian-tray-tri hare luck symbol

Iranian Silk Road tray with the “Three Hares” luck symbol.

Three hares racing around in an endless circle. Displaying the riddle of each having two ears, yet there are only three ears in total as each ear is shared by two hares.( enlarge with click) This symbol has been seen on 13th century bells in monasteries in Germany and 15th century churches in England. Once again as a symbol of luck (the riddle connecting it to the Dragon*) and resistance to temptation. Also evidenced in elaborate ceiling paintings from the Sui and Tang dynasties (AD 581 to 907). This ubiquitous motif has connected civilisations across religion and time carrying a consistent theme.

*Dragon invocation typically involved a riddle

 

 

sacred three hares symbol stained glass

‘Three Hares’ stained glass panel – Angie Dibble

Half Moon Stained Glass

 

 

 

Mayan whistle in the form of the moon goddess and her rabbit consort. CE 600–800.

Ceramic Mayan whistle in the form of the moon goddess and her rabbit consort.

CE 600–800. Princeton University Art Museum.

 

 

Girl-riding-a-rabbit-plate-Jenny-Mendes-

Jenny Mendes

2011

 

raku hare sculpture- Annie Peaker

Raku Hare – Annie Peaker

 

 

 

Arthur Court-Aluminum-Bunny-Wine-Cooler with gold feet

Arthur Court–Aluminum Bunny Wine Cooler

 

 

Raymond Yard Art Deco rabbit waiter brooch

 Art Deco rabbit waiter brooch – Raymond Yard

 

 

Beadwork-and-Mixed-Media jackrabbit -by-Betsy Youngquist

Beadwork and Mixed Media jackrabbit  – Betsy Youngquist

 

 

Bowl with_hare,_Egypt,_Fatimid_period, 11th century_AD, earthenware with overglaze luster painting Cincinnati Art Museum

Egyptian hare motif bowl

Earthenware with overglaze luster painting,  Fatimid period, 11th century AD,

Cincinnati Art Museum

 

 

Raku-Hare-moon gazing by-Paul-Jenkins

Raku Moon Gazing Hare by Paul Jenkins

 

 

rabbit standing in a field next to a mushroom

Rabbit leaning on a mushroom

 

 

 

Ceramic Platter Rabbits Moon and Stars Large by RonPhilbeckPottery,

 Large  Ceramic Platter – Rabbits Moon and Stars by Ron Philbeck Pottery

 

 

 

leaping hare ceramic tile etsy

Deep turquoise leaping hare ceramic tile

Gianar etsy

 

 

Stylised crackle glaze rabbit, signed Lepoy

Sheryls Art Deco

 

 

 

Raku Bunnies – Regina Chinow

 

 

Flock the Jack Rabbit Look what I can do - Flickr orange rabbit sculpture with abstract decoration

‘Flock the Jack Rabbit’ –  Look what I can do – Flickr

 

 

Joshua Tobey ceramic rabbit

‘Jackpot’  hare sculpture – Joshua Tobey

 

Bronze ‘King of Jacks’ – Joshua Tobey

 

 

 

Foxlo-Pottery hare motif vase

Sgraffito hare vase – Foxlo Pottery — Fox & Lois Garney

 

 

Michael Flynn - Hare Woman - sculpture of a dancing lady with a dancing hare

 ‘Hare Woman’  – Michael Flynn

Hares run at a speed of 37 body lengths per second – 60 kilometers/hour

 

 

 

Eli Kaluga Innocent – Smiling Hare

 

 

Ceramic bunny box – Lisa Naples

 

 

 

ceramic rabbit planter Lisa Naples

Hare planter – Lisa Naples

 

 

 

Rabbit motif on maiolica dish, Florence 1450

 

 

 

Herend-Rabbit porcelain sculpture with red on white surface pattern

Herend porcelain rabbit

 

 

 

Hornsea rabbit vase

Hornsea Eastgate

 

 

 

Netsuke rabbit figure

Netsuke Rabbit, Japan

 

 

Carved stone sculpture of a rabbit 'Okazaki Shrine' (Rabbit Shrine), Kyoto

‘Okazaki Shrine’ (Rabbit Shrine), Kyoto 

 

 

'Okazaki Shrine' (Rabbit Shrine), Kyoto rabbit statue

‘Okazaki Shrine’ (Rabbit Shrine), Kyoto

 

 

rabbit-plate with crackle glaze by Josse Davies

3 Rabbit plate – Josse Davies

 

 

 

Gin-Durham hare sculpture

Gin Durham

 

 

 

margaret-wozniak - blue highlights on a white ceramic rabbit

Polish-born, New York based sculptor, Margaret Wozniak

 

 

 

Morris Pottery

 

 

Netty-van-den-Heuvel white porcelain rabbit

Netty van den Heuvel, Nl

 

 

 

Kare Design fetish bunny - ceramic rabbit in red rubber costume

White ceramic bunny in red rubber costume – Kare Design, Germany

 

 

 

reclining hare - Nick Mackman

Reclining Hare – Nick Mackman

 

 

Nicolas-Ortiz terracotta rabbit

Nicolas Ortiz – ‘Estrada Rabbit’

 

 

Rare Foley ware 'Intarsio' rabbit decorated ginger jar and cover, designed by Frederick Rhead,

Rare Foley ware ‘Intarsio’ rabbit decorated ginger jar and cover, designed by Frederick Rhead

English, circa 1900

 

 

 

Running-rabbit-plate by-Diana Fayt

Running Rabbit Plate by Diana Fayt

 

 

 

Rabbit vessel by Sarah Ogren

Rabbit Vase – Sarah Ogren

 

 

 

‘Star Falls’ by Toshio Ebine

 

 

Gaynor-Osinelli,-Paul-Priest,-Artists,-2010 Orange and white hare

Gaynor Osinelli, Paul Priest — 2010

 

 

 

Two rabbits outdoors on a hill Shaun Tan

‘The Rabbits’ – Shaun Tan

 

 

 

Royal-Doulton-Flambe-Hare red glaze

 Royal Doulton Flambe Hare

 

 

 

Tile mosaic with a rabbit, lizard and mushroom, 19th or early 20th century.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (artist unknown)

 

 

Green tortoise-hare-sculpture New York

Green Tortoise and Hare sculpture – Barry Flannagan?

Broadway at 246th Street, NY

 

 

Two Yuan Dynasty stoneware jars

Two Yuan Dynasty stoneware jars

1271 – 1368

 

 

 

Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu in her busy bunny garden

photo Kathryn Parker Almanas

 

 

 

Rabbit – Flickr MikiNagata

 

 

 

Mark-Marshall-Lambeth-Vase with male and female rabbit figurines

‘The Waning of the Honeymoon’ – Mark Marshall Lambeth Vase

 

 

Westie-cast iron white bunny-bookends

Bunny bookends – Westie

 

 

 

Laurie Sharman

 

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Rita Baker
    Posted April 14, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    receiving the Venice clay emails is always educational and a joy. Thank you for compiling them. Great to see Elaine Peto featured, she is so talented.

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