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  • Thumbnail for Ruins of the Yuan Ming Yuan
    Ruins of the Yuan Ming Yuan by Childe, Thomas

    Ruins of the Yuan Ming Yuan (Summer Palace), photographed by Thomas Childe in 1875. On October 18, 1860, Britain's Lord Elgin ordered his troops to destroy the summer palace designed by Jesuit architects for Emperor Qianlong. That same day, the Qing capitulated to further British demands.

  • Thumbnail for Beijing Summer Palace
    Beijing Summer Palace

    View of the hills of the Summer Palace in Beijing, once inhabited by the imperial family.

  • Thumbnail for Essays on Yueh I
    Essays on Yueh I by Qianlong

    Essay by Emperor Qianlong (reign 1736-1795) on Yueh I, handscroll. The text discusses the virtuous conduct of Yueh I, a general of the Warring States period who defected from the state of Yen, which he had served loyally, after losing the confidence of his ruler.

  • Thumbnail for Water dropper for ink stone
    Water dropper for ink stone

    Small glazed ceramic container used for holding water for grinding ink on a Chinese ink stone. Mark on bottom gives Daoguang era of Qing dynasty as date.

  • Thumbnail for Yixing teapot - bottom
    Yixing teapot - bottom

    Bottom of Yixing teapot showing impression of seal.

  • Thumbnail for Cloissone bowl - bottom view
    Cloissone bowl - bottom view

    Bottom of bowl showing metalwork rim as well as "bottom" of the lotus image.

  • 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 rice measure - top view
    Bronze rice measure - top view

    This rectangular tapering vessel is an example of the everyday, utilitarian objects that were fashioned in mold cast bronze in the 18th century. The decoration, which incorporates neatly finished human figures in genre scenes along with typical decorative border embellishments, no doubt was fashioned for use in an important household, rather than for use in a less grand setting. 3 3/4in. high, 5 1/2in wide.

  • Thumbnail for Geese on a Pond [A]
    Geese on a Pond [A] by Ren Zun, 1835-1893

    This pair of paintings was painted by an artist of the "Shanghai School" at that time a derogatory term applied by the traditionalists. He was a member of a family of professional artists. The inscription: Painted in the summer of 1872 in the reign of Emperor Tangzhi by Fuchang, Ren Zun, in Wumen.

  • 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 Bronze oviform vase and hexagonal stand
    Bronze oviform vase and hexagonal stand

    This solidly cast, evenly patinated simple form recalls the subtlety of Song Dynasty ceramics, themselves, a revival of delicate archaic forms seen in ancient bronzes and pottery. This shape also is seen in varying forms in Ming and Qing Dynasty Imperial porcelains and the attached openwork fret-pattern hexagonal stand is a common early Qing embellishment found in both bronze vessels and porcelain. 19.25 inches in height x 9.5 width.

  • 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 Bronze rice measure
    Bronze rice measure

    This rectangular tapering vessel is an example of the everyday, utilitarian objects that were fashioned in mold cast bronze in the 18th century. The decoration, which incorporates neatly finished human figures in genre scenes along with typical decorative border embellishments, no doubt was fashioned for use in an important household, rather than for use in a less grand setting. 3 3/4in. high, 5 1/2in wide.

  • Thumbnail for Tang Yin portrait, close-up of figure
    Tang Yin portrait, close-up of figure by Signed 'Tang Yin'

    Chinese vertical scroll painting, likely a forgery; colors on silk, brocade frame mounted on paper, flush roller with brocade ends; image area 20.4 cm x 55.8 cm; subject Chang Hsien the archer, patron of child-bearing; birth of male child announced by hanging bow at door or gate, calligraphy, five seals. The subject matter does not match the artist’s inscription. Tang Yin is very well known for his versatility, including calligraphy, figures, and landscapes. He was also known for his literary talents and free-spirited lifestyle. His artistic reputation is reflected in many writings, including novels and dramas in later eras and his love of women is depicted in the performing arts and popular culture. Tang Yin was known as a commercial painter who sold his works and took commissions. Many of the extant works that bear his signature are forgeries. The artist of this painting displays a unique manner in his brushwork, with angular and edgy outlines that reflect the influence of Zhou Chen (still alive in the 1530s), another famous painter of Tang Yin’s era. Tang Yin originally studied painting with Zhou Chen, however Zhou Chen occasionally ghost-painted for Tang Yin due to the huge demand for Tang’s paintings. Another possibility is that the inscription of this painting was done by Tang Yin and the figure was done by Zhou Chen.

  • 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 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 Woman’s coat (front detail)
    Woman’s coat (front detail)

    This garment with the accompanying skirt are typical of the late 19th – early 20th century feminine fashions. A lithographed print by the late 19th century Shanghai artist Wu Youru depicts two women wearing such garments posing in a photographer’s studio.

  • Thumbnail for Woman’s coat (front)
    Woman’s coat (front)

    This garment with the accompanying skirt are typical of the late 19th – early 20th century feminine fashions. A lithographed print by the late 19th century Shanghai artist Wu Youru depicts two women wearing such garments posing in a photographer’s studio.

  • Thumbnail for Red shoes for bound feet (side detail)
    Red shoes for bound feet (side detail)

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

  • 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 Gold painted glass tube
    Gold painted glass tube

    It is an interesting and good glass tube, although missing a lid/or stopper (or cord). The exterior of the tube is painted in gold with floral decoration. This should be considered a perfume bottle, and was called a “reclining bottle.†Some identical bottles were made in France, Germany, and Bohemia to hold rose or lavender perfume oils during the 2nd half of the 19th century. This object could have been brought to China by early Lutheran missionaries and families and mixed within the collections.

  • Thumbnail for Battle flag
    Battle flag

    Battle flag in the shape of a right triangle. Made of red cotton with a black cotton Chinese character in the center, which probably represents the name of the battalion.

  • Thumbnail for Three Friends of Winter - detail of character inscription
    Three Friends of Winter - detail of character inscription by Yun Bing

    The subject is not really the three friends, since instead of pine, bamboo, and plum, we have plum, bamboo, two birds, a peony and a rock. The inscription gives Yun Bing, the daughter of Yun Shouping, as the artist. However, given the inaccurate descriptive title, we must be skeptical of that attribution. The painting may be somewhat later than the hopeful 1703 date. 38 x 16 1/16 inches. Ink and colors on silk.

  • Thumbnail for Portrait of a Boxer Supporter
    Portrait of a Boxer Supporter

    28 1/8" x 18 15/16 inches, ink and colors on paper. Formal family portrait of a supporter of the Boxer rebellion. Signed 'Charles F. Gammon 1900'.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Goddess Figure
    Chinese Goddess Figure

    Blanc-de-chine porcelain 5 1/2 X 2 1/2 X 2 inches, with bluish tinge. Seated figure of deity, most likely Guanyin.