Signed by the artist: In 1832, I inscribed at Lai-yüan in Ch'ih-yang, Hsiao-t'ing. (Hsi Tao-kuang jen-ch'en (1832), t'i yü Ch'ih-yang chih Lai-yüan Hsiao-t'ing) One artist's seal follows the inscription: Hsiao-t'ing.
The butterflies and peach blossoms on this fan would have made it a perfect wedding or engagement gift. In China the butterfly is a symbol of love and fidelity between a married couple. One popular folk tale recounts the story of a young male student and a maiden who fall in love but are forbidden to wed. The student pines away and eventually dies. On the way to her arranged wedding, the maiden stops to cry at his tomb when suddenly it opens and her first love emerges in the form of a butterfly. She, too, is transformed into a butterfly and they fly away together. The peach blossoms are a reference to a poem in the Book of Songs, or Shijing, China’s most ancient poetry anthology, compiled by the fifth century BCE.
Covered jar of celadon glaze, body decorated with peony scroll, with base decorated with lotus petals. The circular contours of a peony scroll have been slightly compressed to complement the squat belly of the jar.
Peonies are associated with wealth, imperial splendor, and the erotic appeal of a beautiful woman. In this small but exquisite example of Longquan ware, the circular contours of a peony scroll have been slightly compressed to complement the squat belly of the jar. The Longquan kiln Zhejiang Province emerged as the primary center of celadon ceramics in second quarter of the thirteenth century, when the Song court established its southern capital at nearby Hangzhou. It reached its peak of production during the first quarter of the fourteenth century, when this jar is made, and were exported to markets in East and Southeast Asia, as well as the Middle East.
The fragment of a base of an image of the Buddha: from left to right (from the viewer's perspective) are bas relief images of a beribboned Bodhisattva; a lion; and an incense burner placed on a central altar.
Ewer decorated floral scrolls in fine blue-and-white and a slim handle. The original spout broke off and a silver replacement and lid are later additions.
The shape of this ewer looks back to metalwork models of the Sassanian Empire (based in modern Iran) that were first imported to China in the seventh century. The floral scrolls have their origin in ancient West Asian art, as seen on architecture and carpet.