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Gourd

  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1736-1795 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Credit Line:

    Sir John Addis Gift

  • Museum number:

    FE.159&A-1975

  • Gallery location:

    China, Room 44, The T.T. Tsui Gallery, case 49 []

This moulded gourd is the largest and most elaborate gourd in the collection. Its peach shape was obtained by using a mould which would have restricted its growth. The marks made by the five sections of the mould are still visible. Eight small peaches are moulded on the surface, making a total of nine, an auspicious number associated with long life. The emperor's mark of Qianlong, shanwan, is moulded in low relief on one shoulder. The gourd is mounted on a hardwood stand decorated with silver inlays, almost certainly contemporary. The object was probably created by a wealthy hobbyist; on one side a mark reads: 'Beautiful object made for enjoyment in the Qianlong era (1736-95)'. It was used as a display piece.

Physical description

Gourd, peach-shaped, decorated with nine moulded peaches in deep, clear relief. Hardwood stand carved with floral scrolls and inlaid with silver wire.

Place of Origin

China (made)

Date

1736-1795 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Object history note

From Register: cf. a similar peach-shaped gourd in the Palace Museum, Beijing (Gugong Bowu yuan Yuankan, no. 1, 1979, p. 90)

Descriptive line

Model of a peach, moulded gourd with wood stand, China, Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign period, 1736-95

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Clunas, Craig. Chinese Carving. London: Sun Tree Publishing Ltd in association with the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1996. p. 67, fig. 81.
Kerr, Rose (ed). The T.T. Tsui Gallery of Chinese Art and Design. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1991. p. 22, fig. 2.
Addis, J.M. 'Impressed Gourds'. Oriental Art, 1964. N.S. vol. X, no. 1

Labels and date

Model of a peach
Qianlong reign period
1736-1795

This decorative piece was obtained by growing the gourd in a peach-shaped mould. Eight small peaches on the surface of a large peach make a total of nine, an auspicious number as it is homophone of the word 'eternity'.

Moulded gourd with wooden stand
Mark 'shang wan' on one side

Sir John Addis Gift
Museum no. FE.159-1975 [2009]

Collection

East Asia Collection

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