Antique Chinese Republic Shiwan (Shekwan) Pottery | Daoist Immortal | Li Tie Guai | Signed Pan Yushu
Dimensions: 8-0”w x 11-1/2”L x 5-0”h
This extremely large piece shows LI TIE GUAI resting on his yellow ochre glazed medicine gourd. He is extremely well-defined from the folds in his deep “pomegranate red” glazed robe accented with celadon undertones, to his extremely well-defined black hair, eyebrows, beard, and exposed body, which is glazed in brown skin color. The element that stands out is his large gourd, which carries the medicine he dispenses to those who are sick or have been alienated from society. This figure has an incised mark identifying the artist being Pan Yushu and was made early in the 20th/Century. This piece is from the Estate of Rudolph Schaeffer, (1886-1988) who headed the School of Art & Design in Chinatown & Potrero Hill San Francisco which closed in 1984. He had a large collection of Chinese artifacts, particularly Shiwan Art pottery.
This figure represents a legendary Chinese mythological character who is a member of the eight immortals. He is benevolent to the poor, sick, and needy, whose suffering he eliminated with special medicine from his gourd, (believed to contain medicine powerful enough to revive the dead). According to legend, one day he told his follower that his spirit was going to travel far away, and to watch his body for seven days while he was gone. It was a big shock when the tired spirit returned home from his trip to find no place to go because his body had been cremated. He thus became a beggar and sensitive to the needs of the sick and underprivileged. Though all the other immortals are handsome, young, noble, and wise, Li TIE GUAI remains the favorite of the immortal.
See additional writings on our website related to this subject: https://mingeiarts.com/blogs/celebration-of-mingei-journey-through-japan/shiwan-art-pottery-folklore-and-artistry
Condition: Excellent meaning the piece is perfect, totally original and complete with no discoloration or missing elements. The piece has a small prepare on one leg but it was professionally done with little visual awareness, and retains its wonderful visual aesthetic and corresponds to its vintage. The artifact meets all the standards of collectible Shiwan pottery.
Additional Information: Chinese Classical Shiwan ware is a type of traditional pottery that comes from the talented artists of a small town located in the south of China called Shiwan, in Foshan City, famous for its culture and pottery. Here craftsmen are well-known for their glazing techniques and unique forms. All the sculptural work is hand-formed, and sometimes involves numerous family members within a village, while directed by a master craftsman, every object is unique, and therefore, a limited edition, which attracts art collectors the world over. The three largest collections of Shiwan Art Pottery are housed in the Hong Kong Fung Ping Shan Museum, and the Chinese Cultural Centre in San Francisco. Original Shiwan figurines, (1880-1940), are extremely rare because of their art/craftsmanship and their delicate, fragile nature. The greater the detailing, the more likely the figure has been made by a master artist, hence the higher value. The age of Shiwan ware can be verified by the markings, or lack of markings, the fact that they are hand-formed, depicting highly expressive figural forms and vivid imagery; primitive sculpting techniques; the decorative elements associated with the figure; the deep rich glazes infused with the piece; the type of regional clay (sandy, coarse clay is the oldest), and the stylistic differences.
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