Both Shen Meisou and Zhu Zumou had been scholar-official for the late Qing government. What Zhu Zumou inscribed is a colophon he wrote for his brother’s painting; Shen Meisou inscribed in standard script (Kaishu) on the other side of the fan two poems his friend had come across.
This folding fan involves work of three artists. Shen Meisou(1850-1922) and Zhu Zumou (1857-1931) each inscribed on one side of the fan, and another artist who did not sign his full name designed and carved on the two cover bamboo ribs of the folding fan. The practice of carving on bamboo in China flourished in the Ming and Qing dynasty and carving on thin bamboo ribs of the fan was rare before Qing dynasty. The inscription on the bamboo also suggests that the carving is in the style of a famous Qing dynasty carver Yang Longshi (1781-1850). On one bamboo rib there is a design in the shape of Chinese scepter symbolizing good fortune and in the “handle” of the scepter there carved “You will be a high official”. The folding fan may be a commodity in the market sought after for gift giving or by people who wish themselves promoted.
Goldweights are small objects cast from brass used to weigh out quantities of gold and gold dust. They are cast using a lost-wax casting technique, wherein wax is sculpted into the desired shape and a mold is pressed around the wax model. Then, the mold is heated and the wax drained out, leaving a void in the shape of the original wax model. Liquid brass is poured into the mold and allowed to set before the caster cracks the mold open and retrieves the finished goldweight.
The Akan gold fields were an important source of West African gold from antiquity through the 20th century. Gold was traded on a global scale through both the trans-Saharan and trans-Atlantic trades. The use of gold in long-distance exchange was facilitated by the use of standardized weight measurements. Goldweights, based on divisions of the Islamic ounce, were widely employed throughout the Akan area to measure the quantity and value of gold.
Akan goldweights take many shapes. Different sized goldweights measure different amounts and values of gold dust. Goldweights also vary by their aesthetic attributes. Geometric designs are common and are found in the earliest archaeological contexts. Later goldweights take many figurative forms, often linked to proverbs, jokes, and poems. Still other goldweights duplicate adrinka, a system of visual symbols used in cloth decoration.
This jade disc has a circular hole in the center, and is carved in a way that the jade appears to be turning around this central point, almost in the shape of a hurricane symbol if it were to have three prongs. On each of the three prongs are three evenly spaced raised bumps.
This is a variety of bi disc, a circular object usually carved from jade made in periods ranging from Neolithic to Han China. Bi represent the heavens, which their rectangular counterpart, the cong, represents the earth. Their function is unknown, but is suspected to have been ritual or astronomical in nature.