Archives for the day of: 01/08/2012

L180xD70xH70mm, China

There are many themes for the gold plated lacquered wood carving (so many verbs, but there there are so many layers layers to the work); floral and symbolic carving is one of them.  The two symmetrical flowers are peony, representing wealth and glamour.  The center piece is xiu qiu (embroidery ball) which is a blessing symbol for love.  Many year ago when public dating are forbidden, the girl would select the groom by throwing the xiu qiu.  On the 15th of lunar January / August, the suitors would gather under the ladies’ quarter, the girl would throw the xiu qiu and whoever catches it will be the groom.  This carving is likely to be part of the decoration from the bridal sedan.  (see more about xiu qiu)

DIA150xH300mm, China

Gourd is kind of squash, its latin name is Lagenaria Siceraria, traditionally the Chinese view it as an icon of blessing.  It has been with the Chinese culture for a long long time, its seeds were found at a Zhe Jiang 5000BC archaeological site, the hollowed out dried skin is probably the first liquid container used before pottery and bronze.  It is also commonly used in the old days to store medicine, there is an old say, “wonder what kind of potion is stored in this gourd” meaning a suspicion of someone up to something.

The gourd used for the basket is not of the common “8” shape (see entry Small Gourd) form but a more rounded shape, which is a species from Japan.