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  • Thumbnail for Tibetan Skull Drum
    Tibetan Skull Drum

    As described in the pamphlet, this is a "skull hand-drum, dating from Qing dynasty. Made from the skull caps of a boy and girl joined together at the tops and covered with lamb or monkey skin."

  • Thumbnail for Li Hongzhang
    Li Hongzhang

    Li Hongzhang, one of the prominent ministers under Prince Gong during the late Qing Dynasty, concerned with provincial reform; also assigned to go to Japan and negotiate with the victors there after the victorious maneuver on the part of the Japanese in Shandong, 1895.

  • Thumbnail for Bridal skirt ornament
    Bridal skirt ornament

    Embroidered frontispiece thought to have been worn by brides after the wedding ceremony. Each dangling portion carries good luck motifs.

  • Thumbnail for Yixing teapot - bottom
    Yixing teapot - bottom

    Bottom of Yixing teapot showing impression of seal.

  • Thumbnail for Snuff holder
    Snuff holder

    Tobacco or snuff holder made of silver.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze censor - detail of bottom
    Bronze censor - detail of bottom

    This neatly fashioned rectangular box and openwork cover cleverly becomes a utilitarian incense burner, the pierced cover cast to allow incense to subtly drift upwards through a Buddhist inspired swastika decoration. The taotie handles and the geometric pattern on the ground areas add an archaistic element to the design. The base is inscribed with a dedicatory inscription. The base is inscribed with a dedicatory inscription to the person or persons receiving the gfit. In a panel surrounded by meander squares, there are twenty charcters in seal script. Of these, the character "chen" for "minister or officer" appears twice following characters which must have disignated names, and the character "shi" for "gentleman" follows in the same fashion. 4 1/8in. high, 6in. x 4 5/8 inches wide.

  • Thumbnail for Landscape
    Landscape by Wu Tao, 1840-1895

    This painting reflects a strong traditional influence. The inscription: Spring breezes blow over the Peach Blossom Brook, and a touch of green circles the gray land.

  • Thumbnail for Woman's apron
    Woman's apron

    Another example of a garment worn like a Western style apron by Chinese women, but not utilized in the kitchen. This piece shows a number of symbols including the butterfly which represents old age along with the stylized long-life symbol.

  • Thumbnail for Red Bridal Outfit
    Red Bridal Outfit

    This garment would be worn at a wedding, and carries the auspicious 'double happiness' character in the center. Red is common for wedding gowns in China historically since it is considered a lucky color.

  • Thumbnail for Deep porcelain bowl - side view
    Deep porcelain bowl - side view

    This blue and white decorated porcelain bowl is an example of the popular bird and flower decorative motif of the early Qing Dynasty. Made at the Imperial porcelain factories at Jingtezhen in Jiangxi Provence, this bowl is inscribed with the reign mark of the Emperor Kangxi. These porcelain factories flourished during the Ming Dynasty but their output declined in quantity and quality immediately after the Manchu invasion. Under Kangxi’s patronage porcelain manufacture once again flourished and for the next 130 years some of the most exquisite porcelains were created to the delight of three successive Emperors. 8 1/2 inches in diameter.

  • Thumbnail for Deep porcelain bowl
    Deep porcelain bowl

    This blue and white decorated porcelain bowl is an example of the popular bird and flower decorative motif of the early Qing Dynasty. Made at the Imperial porcelain factories at Jingtezhen in Jiangxi Provence, this bowl is inscribed with the reign mark of the Emperor Kangxi. These porcelain factories flourished during the Ming Dynasty but their output declined in quantity and quality immediately after the Manchu invasion. Under Kangxi’s patronage porcelain manufacture once again flourished and for the next 130 years some of the most exquisite porcelains were created to the delight of three successive Emperors. 8 1/2 inches in diameter.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze ritual vessel fanggu
    Bronze ritual vessel fanggu

    This solidly cast archaistic model of an ancient classical ritual vessel was cast for use as decoration in an upper class household or scholarly pavilion. The fashion of having visual manifestations of ancient objects was an important one in Manchu court circles where great effort was made to demonstrate an affinity to classical Han culture as the foreign Qing rulers were seriously consolidating their rule over China – a process that started with the overthrow of the ethnically Chinese Ming Dynasty in 1644. 15.25 inches high x 7.5 wide ; base 4.5 inches.

  • Thumbnail for Shallow porcelain saucer dish - detail of bottom
    Shallow porcelain saucer dish - detail of bottom

    This doucai enameled dish is decorated with maidens in a terrace garden scene within a border of pine, prunus and bamboo, the “three friends of winterâ€. These plants are emblematic of longevity, as each hearty growth survives the cold, harsh winter months. The dish is inscribed on the base with an apocryphal Ming Dynasty Zhenghua (1465-1487) reign mark, but the decoration, enamel technique and subject matter are clearly 18th century.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze ritual vessel gu
    Bronze ritual vessel gu

    In the same tradition as the preceding object, this well cast archaistic revival vessel is decorated with the requisite zoomorphic design employing the use of taotie masks and classical leiwen background pattern. The solidly defined flanges and the three registers of decorative spaces (upper, central and lower) reflect the metal smith’s attention to the strict orthodoxy of ancient bronze decoration. College of Wooster records show several Chinese characters are painted on the inside face of flanges. One legible character is "shou", which means longevity. Over these characters are four others in red - the first is "Song" for the dynasty, the fourth means "recorded", and the second may be "liang", meaning good in quality. 16 inches high x 7.75 wide; base of 4.75 inches.

  • Thumbnail for Xu Diao, Ferret and Mellon, view of roller
    Xu Diao, Ferret and Mellon, view of roller by Zhao, Zhiqian

    Chinese hanging scroll with vertically-oriented painting depicting a ferret or porcupine nibbling a melon. The image area is 40 cm x 108 cm and was made with black and grey ink on silk and mounted with a brocade frame on a paper mount with teak roller. Zhao, well-known for his calligraphy and seal carving, is one of the most important Qing painters. His style synthesized the styles of Xu Wei ((1521-1593), shi Tao (or Dao Ji, among the “Four Monks of the Ming†1630 – unknown), and Li Shan (1686-unknown). This painting reflects one of Zhao’s later interests in zoology and marine creatures, in addition to his whimsical commentary on the ferret chewing the melon.

  • Thumbnail for Figures in a Garden
    Figures in a Garden by Qian, Hui'an

    Chinese hanging scroll with vertically-oriented painting; ink and colors on paper; image area 39.4 cm x 142.8 cm; brocade frame, mounted on paper with flush roller and brocade ends; subject bearded sage with staff, possibly Confucius or Lao Tzu, and woman standing on a bridge; calligraphy and seal.

  • Thumbnail for Shallow porcelain saucer dish - detail of side
    Shallow porcelain saucer dish - detail of side

    This doucai enameled dish is decorated with maidens in a terrace garden scene within a border of pine, prunus and bamboo, the “three friends of winterâ€. These plants are emblematic of longevity, as each hearty growth survives the cold, harsh winter months. The dish is inscribed on the base with an apocryphal Ming Dynasty Zhenghua (1465-1487) reign mark, but the decoration, enamel technique and subject matter are clearly 18th century.

  • Thumbnail for Immortal of Longevity and Deer
    Immortal of Longevity and Deer by Unknown

    Chinese painting using ink and colors on silk; image area 18 cm x 21.2 cm; subject from Daoist or folk belief;. Condition: good; upper end of mounting torn.

  • Thumbnail for Rank badge (part of set)
    Rank badge (part of set)

    These late nineteenth century rank badges were for use by holders of civil office (as opposed to military office). Civil officials of the second rank were entitled to wear a badge depicting a golden pheasant; officials of the fifth rank used the emblem of a silver pheasant. The bird emblems are surrounded by auspicious images. These rank badges could be elaborately produced, utilizing a range of embroidery stitches, metallic thread, kesi tapestry weaving technique and appliquéd motifs. There are two golden pheasant rank badges in this set (although they have been photographed as one, apparently the photographer was unaware that there was a second identical badge below the top one); the one on the bottom is split up the center for attachment to the front of the garment.

  • Thumbnail for Pair of ancestor portraits (female)
    Pair of ancestor portraits (female)

    Dating from the late 19th or early 20th century, these two ancestor paintings are typical of the genre. The individuals are in formal poses and each wears formal clothing. He wears formal court dress; she is shown in wedding finery, including an elaborate crown and a red robe. Both have rank badges on the front of their garments. Women were denied any role in officialdom, but were entitled to wear the rank badge of their husband. In the late nineteenth century it was customary for the portrait of the wife to be placed at the right side of that of her husband (on the viewer’s left). The use of shading on the faces indicates the influence of Western art and most likely that of photography. The cranes depicted at the bottom of the portraits are symbols of longevity.

  • Thumbnail for Imperial throne cover
    Imperial throne cover

    Prince's imperial yellow silk throne cover with a central embroidered (three and four toed) dragon. The dragon is flanked by dragons on each corner, auspicious clouds, and magic pearls on the sides.

  • Thumbnail for Red shoes for bound feet (side and bottom)
    Red shoes for bound feet (side and bottom)

    Pair of embroidered shoes for bound feet of Chinese women: would appear to come from South China.

  • Thumbnail for Painting of One Hundred Boys
    Painting of One Hundred Boys by Gu Luo (1763-?)

    Gu Luo employs the same pastel, bright palette for depicting an auspicious subject of 100 boys playing. This theme would have been functional as a gift for a newlywed couple. The image is delightful and humorous. 11 15/16 x 88 15/16 inches. Ink and colors on silk.

  • Thumbnail for Landscape attributed to Wang Hui
    Landscape attributed to Wang Hui by attrib. Wang Hui (1632-1717)

    The Wang Hui attribution is probably spurious. The painting is, however, a good example of orthodox landscape in the late imperial period. 67 7/8" x 12 7/8". Ink and colors on satin. Very much darkened with some in-painting. To view the frontispiece, click on related record below.

  • Thumbnail for Mongolian Flint Pouch and Striker (front)
    Mongolian Flint Pouch and Striker (front)

    2" h x 3" w. Leather folding pouch with bail ruyi shaped bronze handle, bronze bird from escutcheons flanking a diamond form made up of bats and ruyi heads around a cross in a circle, all above an axe head form steel base with incised inscription.