A zitan fly whisk and an inscribed root wood ruyi Late Ming dynasty
Lot 328
A rare zitan fly whisk and inscribed root wood ruyi Late Ming dynasty
Sold for HK$ 125,000 (US$ 16,126) inc. premium

Lot Details
A rare zitan fly whisk and inscribed root wood ruyi Late Ming dynasty
A rare zitan fly whisk and inscribed root wood ruyi
Late Ming dynasty
The elongated curved body of the ruyi of naturalistic form complete with ribbed grooves and gnarled twists, terminating in a coiled head, arched backwards in the form of a lingzhi; the flywhisk finely carved of long tapering form, extending to a spherical knop, connected at the tip with another globular fixture, incised with two-character caoshu inscription zhuozhai.
33cm long (the ruyi) (2).

Footnotes

  • Ruyi literally translates as 'as you wish', a scepter that would have been presented to bestow good fortune upon the receiver. The ruyi represents longevity which is further strengthened by the carved lingzhi fungus motif. The fly whisk is not only a simple tool used to sweep away pestering flying insects, but it also metaphorically symbolises the bearer 'sweeping away' worries and ignorance. The use of fly whisks are commonly depicted by two of the Eight Immortals, Lu Dongbin and He Xiangu. Both the ruyi and fly whisk are symbols associated with Daoist teachings, which have been further enhanced by scholarly taste in their naturalistic form. Flywhisks of this form are depicted in woodblock prints of the late Ming dynasty; see Portrait paintings of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Palace Museum Compendium, no. 31, for an example dated to 1643.

    明晚期 紫檀拂塵及根木雕靈芝如意 「拙齋」款

    如意以根木雕成,成一隻千年靈芝狀,如意柄如靈芝粗幹,自然蜿蜒從一靈芝雲頭向下延伸,自然古樸;拂塵由紫檀作柄,前扎一束白色獸毛,風格簡潔,超凡脫俗。如意柄上以草書陰刻「拙齋」款。

    如意既代表順心如意,梵語為「阿那律」,漢朝時隋佛教傳入中國,後成為吉祥長壽之象徵。明清時期,工匠開始使用珍貴材質製作如意,在受到文人墨客賞識的同時還逐漸成為達官顯貴承載祈福禳安的貴重禮品。清宮收藏中也有大量用不同材質製作的如意,因如意常被用為大臣為皇室祝壽的禮品,皇宮貴族也會用如意賞賜大臣。拂塵又稱拂子、塵尾、雲展,本是用來拂除塵埃蚊蟲,但禪宗佛教中,主持通常手持拂塵上堂說法,稱為「秉拂」,因此佛塵在禪宗中被視為說法的象徵。另一方面在道教文化中,拂塵既有「拂去塵緣、超凡脫俗」之意,因此也被作為是法器,例如道教聖賢太上老君、太乙真人或是八仙中呂洞賓均以拂塵壯其神威。
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  2. Xibo Wang
    Specialist - Chinese Works of Art
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