The vase is as high as 41.7cm, elegant in design and intact in shape. The three friends of winter refer to pine trees, bamboo and plum blossom, all of which represent noble and pure ambitions, and thus were used often in literati paintings in Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). A plantain was often drawn with the three friends of the winter, possibly for the sake of keeping balance.
It remained so in the Ming and Qing Dynasties and plantain was even highlighted as the main ornamentation over the three friends of winter ornamentations in the Qing Dynasty. The imperfect glaze color was the only shortcoming of this vase, which cannot diminish its beauty. It was evaluated as a state-level cultural relic by Cultural Relic Evaluation Group of State Bureau of Cultural Relic in 1993.
Pure gold bowl with incised floral design
Date: Tang Dynasty (618-907)
The bowl was unearthed in Tang Cellaring of Hejiacun Village, south of Xi’an, Shaanxi province. There are two layers of lotus on the wall of the bowl. The upper layer of the bowl was engraved with flowers and animals such as mandarin duck, parrot and deer, while the lower layer was engraved with Baoxiang Flower (a traditional auspicious symbol). The rest was engraved with flying birds, flowing clouds and beautiful flowers, all with fish-shape lines as their bottom. The bowl is a rarity with its exquisite workmanship and splendid ornamentation.
Jade Table Screen (with image of Su Shi’s night cruise on Red Cliff)
Date: Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)
Weighing 2.660g, the jade table screen is a flat rectangle with rounded corners and is placed on an annatto seat. Made of jade, it makes subtle use of the jade’s colors such as black, green and white to depict figures and landscape on its front with gold relief. With the scene originating from Walnut Boat, written by Wei Xueyi who lived in the Ming Dynasty, it depicts Sushi’s night cruise on the Red Cliff and is influenced by the Wu School of Painting. The table screen is a masterpiece made in Suzhou folk mills in the Qianlong and Jiaqing periods of the Qing Dynasty.
Lang-Kiln Red Bowl with folded rim