Remarkable album of original watercolours celebrating the life-
world of the literati. The album forms an intriguing catalogue of
traditional Chinese scholarly objects including Buddhist statues,
vases, wrist-rests, musical instruments, scholar-stones, hand scrolls,
miniature ornamental trees and tray landscapes.
While similar albums of watercolours illustrating costumes,
punishments, trades, and natural beauties are sometimes
encountered, such an album dedicated to objects of scholarship
and meditation is a rare and special find. In Confucian philosophy,
the literati enjoyed a highly-esteemed role, cultivating detachment
from the day-to-day bustle of worldly affairs to achieve sanguine and
lucid intellectual insight. This album lovingly captures the cherished
objects of classical Chinese scholarship, and so offers a rare insight
into this bygone way of life.
Mid-nineteenth century album bearing woodblock title stamp
‘Chinese House Ornaments’, containing twelve original watercolour
plates on pith paper, each measuring 240 mm x 160 mm., tipped-in with
blue silk borders; bound in original silk-covered boards with yellow
ties; two plates a little chipped (images unaffected) but overall in
very good condition.
Price (AUD): $4,750.00 other currencies