Portrait of Confucius, with Chinese inscription underneath. Based on image carved in stone at Qufu, Confucius' hometown.
This image shows the continuation, or perhaps end, of the landscape image. The borders on the top and bottom are meant to evoke a sense of brocade, with the image then appearing like a ceramic version of a handscroll.
Interior of bowl shows attention to detail and close observation of an actual lotus. The cloissone artist may have been working from a painting of a lotus given the multiple perspectives represented here.
This detail shows the haste with which this type of object was made in the swerving double lines at the top and the splashed ink trees on the right.
Partaially glazed earthenware teapot.
Bottom of bowl showing metalwork rim as well as "bottom" of the lotus image.
Tobacco or snuff holder made of silver.
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.
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 Kangxiâ€™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.
This doucai enameled shallow dish is decorated on the interior with a central lappet roundel within double circle borders; the exterior depicts three cranes, emblematic of longevity amongst cloud scrolls and fungus. The base is inscribed with a Yongzheng (1723-1735) reign mark and is of the period, however the quality of the enameling and porcelain suggest that it was not intended for the Imperial household.
This doucai enameled dish is decorated with maidens in a terrace garden scene within a border of pine, prunus and bamboo, the â€œthree 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. Width 8 inches; height 1 5/8 inches.
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.
Cast in the form of the mythical three-legged toad, emblematic of the unattainable and great wealth, the upper portion of its body forms the cover and the three spread legs, the base. Its mouth is pierced to allow the incense to drift upwards. This beast has both Taoist and Buddhist implications, as do many of legendary beasts and creatures in traditional Chinese iconography. 8 inches long, 5 inches high.
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. 41/8in. high, 6in. x 4 5/8 inches wide
This doucai enameled shallow dish is decorated on the interior with a central lappet roundel within double circle borders; the exterior depicts three cranes, emblematic of longevity amongst cloud scrolls and fungus. The base is inscribed with a Yongzheng (1723-1735) reign mark and is of the period, however the quality of the enameling and porcelain suggest that it was not intended for the Imperial household. 1 7/16 inches high x 7 1/16 inches wide.
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 artistâ€™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 Yinâ€™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 Tangâ€™s paintings. Another possibility is that the inscription of this painting was done by Tang Yin and the figure was done by Zhou Chen.
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.
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 â€“ 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.
Chinese hanging scroll with vertically-oriented painting and a bronze-colored brocade silk mounting. The image is 33 cm x 120 cm and has dry, lively brush strokes illustrating an autumn scene of flowering chrysanthemum emerging from a deeply worn rock with two birds 'fighting' while a third bird perches above.
Chinese painting of a mountain scene that is part of a set of four related paintings. Ren Xun was the younger brother of Ren Xiong (1820-1864) and his family members were successful commercial painters in Shanghai and nearby regions and skilled in many subjects, including portraiture. Ren Xun followed the style of one of the eccentric painters, Chen Hongshu (1598-1652) in his figure paintings and was also skilled in bird-and-flower subjects. Both brothers were active in Shanghai and their styles are labeled â€œShanghai Schoolâ€ for their colorful and decorative features and popular subjects.
19th century portrait depicting a subject seated in a garden by a stream, chrysanthemum in a vase and a pine tree. The chrysanthemum in the vase symbolizes autumn while the pine tree represents longevity. The image area is 67cm x 130.5 cm and was made using Chinese ink and colors on paper in a silk mounting. The subject and artiistic style are reminiscent of the famous artist, Ren Xiong (1820-1864). Ren Xiong and his family members were successful commercial painters in Shanghai and nearby regions and skilled in many subjects, including portraiture.