Colophon by P'u Ju (1887-1963): This painting with wind and water wrestling against each other, mist and clouds parting and gathering, conveys the wonder of the change from dark to light. It bears the collector's seal of Sung Chung-mu (Sung Lo, 1633-1713). Here is this fabulous product of the Northern Sung Dynasty. Should be treasured more than antique jade, kuei or pi. Collectors' seals: Sung Lo (1633-1713): Sung Lo shen-ting (Authenticated by Sung Lao), near left edge. Chiang Ku-sun (Modern China): Chiang Ku-sun, on lower left mounting silk.
A fan mounted as an album leaf. Writing on the mounting is an identification statement of the Song dynasty fan painting. The landscape depicted trees growing from rocks at the lake shore. The waves are whipping the shore due to a rain storm.
The earliest record in China of painting on a fan is in Jin dynasty (265-420A.D.), but fan paintings gained wide popularity in Song dynasty. According to the inscription on the album leaf, this painting was a brilliant piece of the Northern Song dynasty, describing a scene of crashes between the wind and rain, the tangling cloud and fog, and the subtle transformation between the dark and the light. The subtle touches of the ink make the landscape both a mirage and a reality, as the rocks and trees on the shore are immersed in mists produced by the water. The composition--leaning on one side, is a common one among fan paintings in the Song dynasty. Though most of the space on top left corner is left empty, viewers may still perceive existence of some landscape, which is just submerged in the heavy fog.
Bronze oval cup with a rounded base supported on three slender legs of triangular cross section; each leg tapers to a point. The vessel has one loop handle attached to the side, a long pouring spout with a U-shaped channel on one side balanced by a pointed tail on the other, and a pair of capped finials rise from the rim. The piece has a rich green patina and minimal surface decoration.
The “jue” cup was the main drinking utensil during the Bronze Age. It is found in a tomb paired with the “gu” wine container. The earliest known “jue” were cast from multipart piece molds. The form of the vessel is complex, and the lack of symmetry is relatively unusual among ritual bronzes. Unlike other tripod food and wine vessels, the three legs of the “jue” are not evenly spaced around the bottom, instead, the two legs opposite the handle are a little closer together and a little more vertical. To balance the handle visually as well as to support its weight the leg under it is slightly longer and sticks out at more of an angle. How this type of cup was used and the function of the two knobs on the rim is still not clear. The long spout is impractical for drinking.
Two columns of Latin text fill this page taken from a bible manuscript. A painting in a gold rectangular frame is located in the lower right column. An angel descends from a blue semicircular disc in the upper right corner of the painting and grasps a larger figure by the hair with both hands. This second figure holds a jug in his left hand and a plate with bread in his right. A third figure, dressed in a white robe, reaches up toward this larger figure from an enclosure below. He appears against a black background and four gray animal heads overlap his torso.
This manuscript page, taken from a bible, contains the prologue and opening text of the Book of Daniel. A diminutive rectangular painting marks the beginning of the book itself in the lower right column of text. Daniel, clothed in a white robe, appears at the bottom of this image within a dark enclosure surrounded by four lions. Above the enclosure stands the larger figure of the prophet Habakuk holding a jug of water and a plate of bread. With the help of an angel who suspends him by his hair, Habakuk miraculously delivers the sustaining food to Daniel.