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    Sale 2027

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    17 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 243

    A LARGE KESI PANEL MOUNTED AS A SCROLL

    QIANLONG/JIAQING PERIOD (1736-1820)

    Price Realised  

    A LARGE KESI PANEL MOUNTED AS A SCROLL
    QIANLONG/JIAQING PERIOD (1736-1820)
    Finely woven with Dongfang Shuo carrying a fruiting peach branch after having stolen it from Xi Wangmu's orchard, his robes swirling around him as he flees, with a fruit-laden peach tree growing from a rock-face above him and another gnarled tree in the foreground
    65 x 33 in. (165 x 84 cm.)


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    The mount bears a title strip, Ming kesi Fang Shuo tou tao tu (Ming kesi picture of Fang Shuo Stealing Peaches).

    Dongfang Shuo is a well-known character from Chinese History and legend. According to his biography in Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian) by Sima Tan (died c. 110 BC) and his son Sima Qian (145-86 BC), he entered the service of the Han dynasty Emperor Wudi (r. 140-87 BC) and left the court during the reign of the Emperor Xuandi (r. 73-49 BC). He was considered to have been a learned and witty, but eccentric, court official. According to Liu Xiang, Biographies of Immortals, Dongfang Shuo was later transformed into a Daoist Immortal, and became a thearical character.

    The legend of Dongfang Shuo has him attempting to steal one of the famous 'peaches of immortality' from the orchard of Xi Wangmu, the Queen Mother of the West, whose palace was believed to be in the Kunlun mountains. These peaches were believed to ripen only once in 3,000 years and to confer immortaliy on anyone who ate them. This legend became part of the design repetoire of Chinese decorative arts. On the present kesi Dongfang Shuo has been given the features of the Star God of Longevity, Shoulao, including his high, domed forehead, long white beard and a double gourd hung from his belt. Also, Shoulao is often shown holding a peach.

    Special Notice

    No sales tax is due on the purchase price of this lot if it is picked up or delivered in the State of New York.