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Vase in the shape of a lingzhi, Qianlong reign (1736-1795), Qing dynasty

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Accession Number
Vase in the shape of a lingzhi
Qianlong reign (1736-1795), Qing dynasty
H. 14 cm;Diam. 13 cm;Diam. of base 6.5 cm


The lingzhi-shaped vase has a flared opening, hollow center and short foot ring. Sprouting from the body are eight smaller lingzhi. This plant has always been considered auspicious since the Spring and Autumn period, and still is to this day. It is also used as a religious offering. The thick bisque is coated with Robin's egg glaze with blue and ochre speckles. On the bottom are four seal script characters reading "Made in the Qianlong Reign". The album, Pictures of Agriculture and Sericulture Poems (NPM gutie 0284) is a small-scale album created during the fifth year of the Qianlong reign (1740) during Qing dynasty. The imperial court often made album leaves that cover both agriculture and sericulture. This is the only known set that consists of separate albums for agriculture and sericulture, with four volumes for each. The set was inducted into Shiqu Baoji Sanbian (Third Supplement of Treasured Cases of the Stone Moat, NPM gutie 0277) during the Jiaqing reign. These pages are from the third of the four sericulture albums. Inside are twelve poems and their corresponding paintings. The themes depicted include boiling cocoons, silk moth, worshipping, warp, spooling and weaving. The images are finely outlined and filled with an elegant palette, which is consistent with the style of court paintings. On the opposite page of each painting is a poem by either Kangxi or Yongzhen emperor on sericulture. The poems were transcribed in gold by Zhang Zhao (1691-1745), whose style is refined. This is the seventh of the twelve pairs of paintings and poems, which depicts the worshipping ritual that takes place after extracting the filament from silk cocoons. On the offering table is a set of five worshipping instruments. In the middle is the censer, and on its sides are pairs of candle sticks and flower vases. The red lingzhi in each vase is a display of gratitude for the deities, while making a vase into the shape of a lingzhi as the one exhibited is an explicit expression of its auspicious connotation.