Chinese Shiwan (Shekwan) Ware | Zhongli Quan | 1890-1919

Zhongli Quan is one of the most ancient of the Eight Immortals and the leader of the group. He is also known as Zhongli of Han (Han Zhongli) because he was said to be born during the Han Dynasty. He possesses a fan which has the magical ability of reviving the dead. Immortals are said to have obtained immortality through the elixir of life, produced by alchemy, by the eating of magic fruits, or through studying the secrets of nature. In Daoism, Zhongli Quan is known as Zhengyang Zushi, literally the True-Yang First-Master. He is also called “Master of the Cloud-Chamber” in accounts describing his encounters before achieving immortality. Born in Yantai, Zhongli Quan was once a general serving the Han Dynasty.

Here we see him sitting comfortably with his legs crossed, on a rock holding his famous fan, which is glazed in yellow ochre. His robe is mottled in blue glaze, and along with his trousers is trimmed in white. His face is quite expressive, with a beard and hair nicely detailed, as well as the entire composition. The shaved forehead and queue, (bud hairpieces), were symbolic of autocratic authority and its cultural dominance.

Condition: Pristine and excellent: no chips or missing elements, repairs or crazing. An impressed stamp of “CHINA” on the bottom indicates this piece was made between 1890-1919, after which time the mark changed. Dimensions: 3-0”w x 6-0”h (7.6cm x 15.24cm).

Additional Information: 

Please refer to our Discovery section for historical information on Shiwan Ceramics | Mud Figures, and our Book section, for out- of-print books for sale on the subject.

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