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A blue and white double gourd vase with Daoist immortals

  • Porcelain and underglaze blue
  • China
  • Ming dynasty (1368-1644)
  • Wanli period (1573-1619)
  • 31 cm
  • Robert de Billy collection (former ambassador of France in Japon and close friend of Marcel Proust)

Description

The double gourd vase with square shape, decorated in underglaze cobalt blue. In the lower part, each side painted with two of the Eight Immortals (ba xian 八仙) standing on clouds while the corners are adorned with an auspicious sentence made of four characters in round medallions, “The country flourishes and people live in peace” (Guo Tai Min An 国泰民安). The Eight Immortals are a group of legendary characters from different eras who have become immortals through the practice of Daoism. They are revered as longevity gods. They also represent the different states of life (as richness, poverty, youth, old age, lower class, aristocracy, masculine and feminine gender…). 

In the upper part, four other Daoist deities are depicted, of which the poet Hanshan and his scroll, the monk Shide and his broom, also with an auspicious sentence “Moderate wind and favorable rain” (Feng Tiao Yu Shun 風調雨順). The double-gourd shape is associated to fertility and good fortune. 

A blue and white double gourd vase with Daoist immortals

  • Porcelain and underglaze blue
  • China
  • Ming dynasty (1368-1644)
  • Wanli period (1573-1619)
  • 31 cm
  • Robert de Billy collection (former ambassador of France in Japon and close friend of Marcel Proust)

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