Huyan Zhou, supposedly a descendant of general Huyan Zan, also served as a general in the imperial army of the Song and was renowned for his bravery and fighting skills. His favored weapons were a pair of metal clubs, and his nickname was ‘double clubs’. The other protagonist on this vase is Wu Song, who is described as handsome and had various nicknames including ‘the pilgrim’ and ‘tiger fighting hero’. He was believed to have been a student of archer Zhou Tong, and was also a master of several other martial arts, being particularly skilled in the use of the staff. For four small Shunzhi-period dishes in the Curtis collection that are decorated with characters from The Water Margin see lot 3556.