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The sides decorated with two scenes of figures in a landscape, the scenes separated by clouds, in one scene two men meet while soldiers holding halberds stand guard beside a palanquin, in the second three scholars gaze at the sun while a fourth holding a gnarled staff approaches, within bowstring borders, with a band of petal lappets below and a lotus-filled ruyi collar and narrow band of ruyi heads on the shoulder above, the neck encircled by vaporous clouds, all executed in slip and glazed in turquoise, yellowish-amber and mauve on a deep purple ground, the interior glazed green
13 1/8in. (33.3cm.) high, box
The Tsui Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1991, no. 78

Lot Essay

This guan is unusual in having its decoration divided into registers by encircling bands. For a jar with a related central scene of people in a landscape setting, painted in a similarly "tight" manner with a lot of background space, in the Gotoh Art Museum, Japan, see Mayuyama, Seventy Years, vol. 1, Tokyo, 1976, no. 814

One of the scenes illustrated on the present jar is taken from the Western Zhou dynasty legend of King Wen. Among the sages he sought to help him rule his kingdom was Jiangtaigong; the latter, when visited by the king, was found fishing with a straight, rather than crooked hook and when asked why, replied he was trying to catch "bigger fish"

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