A pair of carved 'taiji tou' 'Shou Lao and Ma Gu' seals Mid Qing dynasty
Lot 213
A pair of carved 'taiji tou' 'Shou Lao and Ma Gu' seals Mid Qing dynasty
Sold for HK$ 360,000 (US$ 46,448) inc. premium
Auction Details
A pair of carved 'taiji tou' 'Shou Lao and Ma Gu' seals Mid Qing dynasty
Lot Details
A pair of carved 'taiji tou' 'Shou Lao and Ma Gu' seals
Mid Qing dynasty
The mottled creamy-beige stone skilfully carved in the form of two tall, rectangular seals acting as pedestals for miniature sculptures of Immortals, the first of Shou Lao, seated backwards on a stag, his head turned to meet the backward-looking stag, holding a rolled scroll in his hands, his hat hanging on his back, a bunch of the peaches tied to his waist-band, the animal set on clouds; the other with Ma Gu, a female immortal, seated side-saddle on a mythical beast, her hat hanging on her back, and holding in her hands a tall covered jar of wine she has specially prepared for the birthday of Xi Wangmu; inscribed on the face of the latter seal with the characters 'ziruo zuo' ('made by Ziruo').
8.5 and 8.4cm high

Footnotes

  • 清中期 壽山太極頭石雕壽老麻姑鈕印一對

    印文: 廉山氏、萬承紀印
    邊款: 子若作

    Illustrated出版:
    Gerard Tsang and Hugh Moss, Arts from the Scholar's Studio, Hong Kong, 1986, pg.92, pl. 52.

    Exhibited展覽:
    The Fung Ping Shan Museum, University of Hong Kong, 24 October to 13 December 1986

    One seal reads 'Lianshan shi' and the other reads 'Wan Chengji yin' (Lianshan being another name for Wan Chengji).

    As Tsang and Moss expound, ibid, pg. 92, Wan Chengji (zi: Lianshan), a native of Nanchang, was recommended for examination in the Qianlong period and rose through the ranks to become Governor of Haifang and acting Governor of the Yangzhou area. Ziruo was the 'zi' of Wang Yingshou (circa 1788-1841), seal carver, painter, calligrapher and scholar. He was the fifth generation descendant of the famous artist Wang Yuanqi.

    Although the owner of the seals and the carver of their text have been identified, the carver of the seals themselves remains anonymous. It is possible that the seals existed for some time prior to the addition of the seal text, which probably took place during the early 19th century. We can establish this date within a reasonable period because we know that Wan Chengji was a good friend of Luo Pin, who died in 1799. The seal text carver, however, was only seven years old at the beginning of the Jiaqing period and would not have developed his full skills as a seal carver until later in life. A suggested date for the carving of the text might be somewhere late in the Jiaqing period, by which time we may assume that Wan was reaching his old age.
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