Chinese Shiwan (Shekwan) Ware | Bonsai Ornaments | Shanshui Penjing, (Tray Scenery) | Fifteen Miniature Pottery figurines | 1950
Originating in China, Bonsai is a traditional Chinese art treasure with a long history. It is popular among the general population. Bonsai is a product of cultivation technology and ‘plastic art’, as well as a combination of natural and artistic beauty. The smallest Shiwan were used as landscape elements in miniature bonsai plants/tray planters, (shanshui penjing), and the larger figures were used and incorporated into vases, and small table lamps, and considerably more in the Western world.
Shown is a grouping, (15), of miniature Shiwan figures that were mass produced in either China or Hong Kong in the 1950. Condition: excellent: no chips or missing elements, repairs or crazing. Dimensions: Set varies in size from 1-0”h to 4-0”h (2.5cm x 10.1cm).
In comparison, the oldest known depiction of a planted dwarfed landscape, (Saikei), in Japan dates from 1309. It is the art of creating tray landscapes that combine miniature living trees with soil, uniquely formed rocks, (which may play the role of mountains), cliff faces, stone outcroppings, stream beds, shorelines, or other aspects of the landscape and related vegetation, (ground cover), in a single low container. Saikei was designed to be an easier practice to participate in than bonsai. And compared to the Chinese ‘shanshui penjing’, the Japanese saikei and bonsai never contained miniature human figurines.
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.
Excellent Condition- In unused, or like-unused condition. No visual or structural or surface wear or damage shown. Pristine. As good as the day it was made.
Great Condition- Appears in slightly used condition but looks "Like New". Some minor wear, but retains the original craft/workmanship. May show minor wear, that does not affect the main design, or associated motif. No cracks, dents, chips or missing elements.
Good Condition- Minor wear which can be restored or repaired; may have surface flaws, like staining or soiling, confined to a small area. The flaw(s) are counterbalanced by another feature, like brilliant color or innovative design. Some fading or the piece may have been altered in some fashion.
Fair Condition- Main aesthetic/design showing damage. Excessive noticeable wear or damage. Worth buying if can be restored/repaired because of its aesthetic or design appeal or rarity. Note: wear/damage consistent with age/use can often enhance the 'Antique' qualities of a piece, giving it a desirable second chance in one's collection