Archives for posts with tag: plate


DIA150xH30mm, China

A famille rose octagonal plate with an auspicious pattern.

A pattern common enough, but can someone let us know what the yellow fusilli like shape and 5 red decoration represent? 5 bats in the cloud?  5 peony within a sea of yellow bats?



Large Serving Bowl
Beige Glaze


plateDIA130xH20mm, China

An octagonal plate with a rooster in a field of peony.

In Chinese, rooster with peony 公雞牡丹 symbolizes 吉祥富貴 wealth and blessed, with the word rooster 雞 “Ji” has the same pronunciation as the word 吉 “Ji” blessed and the peony being the flower of wealth.


DIA150xH20mm, China

To celebrate the victory of  Germany winning the World Cup, here a plate with the lion playing with a xiu qiu.

The composition of the lion playing with the ball is a traditional blessing pattern.  The lion being nonnative in China was a mystical creature, not only is it the symbol of power and strength, it is also the carrier of the Manjusri Bodhisattva.    Lions sculptures are often found outside buildings as the guard against evils.  Here is the legend of how this supreme creature start getting addicted playing with balls; during the Southern and Northern dynasty, there is a general named Zong Que who was in a losing battle.  Zong thought of a way to breaking out of the surrounding enemy, he had the soldier build a figure of the lion, put on a mask and dressed in yellow fur, from a distance the enemy thought the lion has arrived and flee, enabling Zong’s army to escape from the situation.  The army celebrated  with the local villages and the tradition went on, to humanize the lion more movements were added as well as the xiu qiu ball.  The pattern of the lion and the xiu qiu is a blessing of strength and energy.

Click here to see our other items of the lion and the xiu qiu.

plateDIAxHmm, China

This plate depicted a scene from the river, boats scattered around in the water with the landscape at the background.

Rivers are the veins of China, they provide water for irrigation, food source and transport.  River scenes are the homeland for us and dreamland for others.  In the Li River in Gui Lin, cormorant fishing is practiced, these birds are trained to capture the fish that had been attracted to the light from the boat and to bring them back to the fisherman, a bit like the hunting dogs.

plateplateDIA100xH140mm, China

This is an offering plate for the gods at the temple or even at the shrine at home.

The offerings are broadly divided into 5 groups; tea and wine, incense, fruits and cakes, the 5 grains, animals.  These offering has to be aesthetically beautiful, making a melodic sound and of course tasty.

However, it seems Master Chin Kung’s teaching makes more sense.

Instead of tea and wine, water should be offered, our mind should be as pure and peaceful as water.
We should understand the meaning of what it is we are offering.

plateDIA160mm, China

On the plate is painted 3 generation of scholars, the well learnt elderly man, the established and the scholar to be.  Behind them are a selection of scholarly objects and collectibles; scrolls of painting and calligraphy, stationary, books and root sculptures.  On the side of the plate is the phrase “knowledge with no cliff”, meaning knowledge is so board that it is like an ocean without an edge.

This phrase is well learnt by most young students, as an encouragement for acquiring knowledge.  The phrase came from the late Ming well known writer Zhang Di who was born in a wealthy intellectual family.  Well learnt, he indulges in decadent love of beauty; pretty maid, handsome serving boys, fashion, gourmet, elegant horse, glamour, crowds, painting, antiques, etc, etc.  The life style and the political situation made him a poor man at later years, he found himself failure in all counts.  This however, made his writing all the more powerful.

plateDIA135mm, China

On this blue and white porcelain plate is a pine tree and a man fishing.  This man is Jiang Zi Ya, a man who is famous for fishing with a straighten hook.  This practice is not a new fishing method or something to do with humane way of fishing but an ideology of this special man.  Fed up with the administration of the Emperor, Jiang retreated to a remote area where he began this special fishing practice.  Under the clear water, everyone can see that the hook is straighten and thought that he is either stupid or lazy, but Jiang believe that if the fish is willing, it will come to him.  And at this remote village, one day Wen came to him, from there Jiang assisted Wen become the new emperor of the Zhou Dynasty.  And as for most hero in China, Jiang became a saint.

This item is also available at the Pop-Up Gallery @Fringe Vault, a joint venture with SOIL (July 4 – 31)

crane plateDIA90xH20mm, China

The circular crane is a traditional Chinese pattern which symbolizes longevity and satisfactions;  it was originally used as the emblem on military flags in the Warring State period but by the Ming dynasty as Taoism becomes prominent their chosen saint carrier – the crane starts appearing on pottery and garments.

alabaster plate

Alabaster Plate

W120xL120mm, China

Calcite alabaster is known as commonly as the Han Jade as this type of white marble was used for fine architectural carving since the Han dynasty.  This pair of alabaster plates would have been used as part of the utensils for serving tea  outdoor.  Carving on top of the plates are flowers of the 4 seasons; Narcissus, Lotus, Chrysanthemum, Plum Blossom.

On the other corners are verses taken from the draft letter from the calligrapher Yan Zhen Qing to corrupt general Guo Ying Yi in 764 AD.  This draft letter is famous for the caoshu calligraphy and is learnt by younger calligraphers as the “争座位帖” (Zheng Zuo Wei Tie – The Struggle For a Seat).   In this letter of criticism  towards the general, the calligrapher concentrate more on his wording and thoughts rather than the calligraphy itself, however his emotion was naturally expressed in the strokes.

… 岂不以才为世出,功冠一时。挫思明跋扈之师,抗回纥无(?)之请,故得身凌烟之阁,名藏太室之庭,吁足畏也!然美则美矣,而终之始难。故曰:满而不溢,所以长守富也,高而不危,所以长守贵也,可不儆惧乎?!…

Having a portrait at the hall of fame, the name recorded in palace

From the book of  “Xiao Jing” (Classic of Filial Piety)
孝经 – “高而不危,所以长守贵也。
Dwelling on high but without peril, nobility can be preserved.
Being affluent but not wasteful, wealth can be preserved.

From the book of (Chinese Code of Success, a classic and not one of those self help book)
朱子治家格言 – “讀書志在聖賢,(非徒科第);為官心存君國,(豈計身家)?”
To study with the aspiration to be a man of virtue (and not for official ranking).
An official ought to have the interests of the Emperor and the nation at heart (and not his own pocket).

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