Previously sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 20 November 1984, lot 519.
The images depicted on the present handwarmer represent two stories. The exterior portrays a hunting scene and is probably from Tang Taizong Soulie; it elucidates the story of Emperor Tang Taizong's hunting expedition. Taizong's loyal general, Wei Chigong, is identified as the horseman carrying a stick-like whip known as a bian.
The upper surface of the cover depicts the story of Guo Ziyi Zhushou. Guo Ziyi was a general in the Tang dynasty whose very able sons were all officials at Court. The scene illustrates one of the son's homecoming to celebrate Guo Ziyi's birthday. The characters on the flags, Lianzhong and Sanyuan provide the phrase: 'After three consecutive examinations, (one) finally becomes a Zhuang Yuan. This is in reference to the younger Guo's achievement in having obtained the prestigious Zhuang Yuan title, the highest accolade given by the Hanlin Academy.
Another hand-warmer by Hu Wenming of the same unusually large size and circular form, decorated with a figure scene but lacking the gilt enrichments, was exhibited at the International Asian Art Fair, Hong Kong, 1984, and illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 32, together with three small oval hand-warmers.