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Oriental China - Wen-Tchang

( Originally Published 1911 )

A figure of the god of Wisdom; the robe decorated with clouds in aubergine, green, and white, on a brilliant yellow ground ; the cape on the shoulders has a gold tracery design on deep rouge de fir, whilst at the back the ornamentation is carried out in formal flowers in green and aubergine on a white ground; on either side of the robe are two sacred dragons, finely drawn and enamelled in green, aubergine, and blue ; the under-garment, which reaches to the feet, is decorated with flying storks in black and white, and peaches in rouge de fer and green, on a plain apple-green ground, and the border has a light pencilled design on deep green. Above the folded arms is part of another garment, decorated in the centre with a cheou in gold on a pink ground ; the remainder of this has small yellow flowers on stippled green ; the left hand, which is hidden under the folds of the garment, contains a Joo-e in gold ; the head is of white glazed porcelain, the crown in biscuit, whilst the hair, eyebrows, whiskers, beard, and moustache are in brilliant black enamel. The third eye, which is seen in the centre of the forehead, is supposed to represent the faculty possessed by this deity of seeing more than any other person or god, for with the aid of this third eye he was able to see not only what took place externally, but to read into the innermost depths of a man's soul, as well as the past, present, and future. The figure is supported on a rectangular stand, the front of which is decorated with a bold diaper design in aubergine, yellow, and black, on a pale green ground, whilst in the corners are Joo-e heads in yellow, green, and aubergine. The panels at the sides have in each a large flower in yellow and aubergine, with green lotus leaves on a white ground ; in the back panel of the upper portion of this pedestal is a large drawing of a running dragon, which has a yellow head, aubergine tail and mane, and a green and black body ; the four remaining panels have flowers and leaves in green, aubergine, and yellow, on a biscuit ground. Ming period. Possibly another form of Wan Chong.

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