AGE: – (Qing Dynasty 1644-1912 AD)
CONSTRUCTION: – Porcelain
DESCRIPTION: – Qing Dynasty Famille Verte Porcelain Plate
HEIGHT: – 3.5cm
BASE DIAMETER: – 11.5cm
WEIGHT: – 70gms
Qing Dynasty Famille Verte Porcelain plate made in China primarily for export. The Famille Verte group of porcelains’ dominant colour is green, decorated with a mix of less dominant colours of over glazed enamels in a variety of colours. This group of verte (green) porcelain was made in Jingdezhen and was popular from the late 17th Century to early 18th Century followed by the Famille Rose group of porcelain.
Four Taoist symbols sit on top of a trellis style pattern decorating the outside of the plate, with a scene from nature in the centre. The underside of the plate is decorated with delicate enameled flower sprays.
There are eight Taoist symbols depicted in Chinese Art, mythology, literature, myth and legend and are significant to the Taoist/Daoist philosophy related to the Eight Immortals. Each symbol represents a characteristic of each one of the Eight Immortals and each symbol play an important role in their attributes.
The four symbols on the outer edge of the plate:
Believed to hold magic potions and medicines and is dispensed by the immortal Li Tieguai. Although this immortal had a reputation for being ill tempered, he was also known to be kind towards the sick and to those who were in need and less fortunate, as well as having a compassionate nature.
Attributed to Zhonglie Quan a general who was beaten in battle against the Tibetans after which he escaped into the mountains. After being found by an old man who took him back to his spiritual sanctuary where he learnt the art of alchemy and magic rituals. After three days of intensive tutoring he was sent back into the world with a magical fan to use his knowledge to help others. Zhonglie Quan believed to hold the elixir of life and able to resurrect the dead and turn stones into silver and gold.
Attributed to Lu Dongbin, a clever scholar and poet, he is often depicted wearing the clothes of a scholar and carrying a sword on his back used to banish evil spirits. Lu Dongbin had many bad character flaws, he was a womanizer, prone to getting drunk and bouts of aggression. After overcoming these flaws he learnt the secrets of life and became one of the most famous of the Eight Immortals.
Drum and rods:
Attributed to Zhang Guolao, believed to be an historical figure, also referred to as Zhang Guo, who lived as a hermit in the mountains during the Tang Dynasty. The drum and rods are also referred to as a fish drum, a type of percussion instrument. The immortal Xhang Guo was believed to hold special powers such as making a flower wilt when pointing at them, drink poison without consequence, he was also able to become invisible at will. He is usually depicted seated on the back of a white mule.