Yixing Stoneware from a distinguished Asian family collection (lots 585-640)
An Yixing stoneware 'melon' pillow
Contemporary, signed Jiang Rong Naturalistically potted in the form of a melon, compressed in the centre in simulation of a pillow, one end issuing a broad leaf and stems, together with eight marks scattered towards the ends of the fruit, a kaishu inscription to the side. 28.5cm long.
Jiang Rong (1919-) is a famous female master of 'zisha' (purple clay) floral vessels. A native of Qianluo Village in Yixing's Chuanbu County, Jiangsu, she started to learn the art of purple clay stoneware in her youth. In 1954, she was employed as a technical advisor at the purple clay production factory. Her work was selected as gifts for foreign dignitaries in 1957. She was known for her fruit-inspired Zisha vessels, exquisite techniques and realistic rendering.
Tao Quanhai (1939-) is well versed in zisha decoration methods, character incisions or patterns. In 1958, he entered a zisha factory to start his apprenticeship under Ren Ganting (1889-1968). Tao's flexible and varied carving techniques have attracted many zisha masters, such as Yuan Jingzhou, who invited him to create carvings with pleasure, this melon being one fine example. Potted by Jiangrong with inscriptions carved by Tao Quanhai, this work tells the 'Record within a Pillow', a Chinese tale from the Tang Dynasty by Shen Jiji, where a Daoist priest gave Scholar Lu a pillow. After a decade of prosperity, Scholar Lu woke up from his dream, realising that the steamed millet was still unready. This is symbolic of life as a dream, implying that fortune, fame, success and loss are as transient as fleeting clouds.
Illustrated 出版: Ho Chien, Purple Clay. Wellington Wang's Collection of Yixing Wares, Taipei, 1993, p.215. 何健，《紫泥 王度宜興珍藏冊》，奇園國際藝術中心，台北，1993，頁215。
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