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Oriental China - The Immortals

( Originally Published 1911 )

These Pa Sien are eight in number. They attained immortality in various ways, but the eating of the peach, which is carried as an emblem by Han Chung-le, the god of longevity, and whose fruit confers the gift of immortality, seems to have been indispensable. The illustrations show three figures of two of these gods bearing their emblems.

On the right is a figure of Han Seang-tsze. This personage was a nephew of the great philosopher, Han-Yu, who lived in the first century. The robe is of rich green enamel relieved with medallions, each of which contains a fabulous animal in aubergine, yellow, and white, on very pale green ground; the collar is of aubergine with black tracery design ; the under-garment, the skirt of which reaches to the feet, is of yellow with a small design in black. In his right hand he carries his flute (Tieh); this, as well as the hand and head, in biscuit.

Another figure of the same god in quite a different style of decoration. Note the flute emblem. It belongs to the same set as the next.

In the centre is a figure of Chang Ko-laou, who is supposed to have lived in the seventh century. His robe is of aubergine, decorated with flowers and flying birds in pale blue, yellow, white, and black; the undergarment, which reaches to the feet, is stippled green ground, with a formal design in black. The head-dress is a brilliant black enamel, as are also the bamboo tubes and rod which he carries in his right hand; the latter and the face are in biscuit, and the beard is aubergine. All of these are Ming.

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