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Giovanni, your hat stand is stunning! Thank you for sharing it. The painting is amazing. And of course, the deer has a lingzhi, that makes much more sense.
Stuart, thank you for the pictures of the vase, that is how I expect a 100 deer vase to look and I can clearly see that this is a different pattern to that on Giovanni's hatstand / the one in the first post.
Nic, thank you for taking the trouble to get stills from the video. I will try to watch it over the weekend. I can see the variance in quality between the items and I shall enjoy listening to the discussion of them. I know what you mean about the rocks on the vase you posted in the first post. That struck me, too, when I saw it and the little brightly coloured spots of enamel which I thought unusual. I don't think it was less well painted, just differently and I put that down to it being more modern - my vague assumption being Republic period.
Dear Julia, Giovanni and all ...
An explanation for the deer/monkey and spider/web symbolism, forwarded by a good friend in HK ...
Deer (in Chinese - ‘Lu’) is a homophone pun for ‘wages in official salary’, so a big increase in official salary - or to get ‘high and many promotions in official career’. The monkey with spider/web or bees form a pun for ‘feng’ (bee/spider - or ‘enfiethed’) - ‘hou’ ( monkey or ‘marquis). So ‘be enfiethed as a marquis’ - to get/or got a high ranking post or position. So both are rebuses for ‘good wishes in ones official career’ ...
Sometimes the monkey is seen riding a horse with bees - then a pun for ‘ma Shang’ (immediately) - ‘feng hou’ - (enfiethed a marquis) - attached image of painting of such ...
thank you but I think, unless I am not understanding correctly, that this explain the rebus.
In fact, the "deer, monkey and bees (or wasp) has a known symbolism, mentioned in the dedicated books, like for example that of Therese Tse Bartholomew.
The same for the monkey riding the horse and wasp.
But here we have a spider on its net, which to my knowledge doesn't have the same phonetic sound. And we always have 18 deers, not one or more deers.
According to Terese Bartholomew, spider is symbol of joy and pun for "know".
Again, according to the same Auithor, the descending spider is pun for Heaven" or "Joy descnding from Heaven", but here, either on the big vase in question or my hat stand and even on my snuff bottle, the spider is placed in the middle of its net.
"Hundred deers" has its meaning, has the "two deer" motif. But as said, we always have 18 deers associated to thespider and the monkey.
In my opinion it must have a specific meaning.
Dear Stuart and all,
my memory is not so good, I am becoming aged.
I did search on Gotheborg the posts about my hat stand and the snuff bottle, and found that years ago the hidden meaning was solved by one of our very good Chinese members there. Here is what she said:
“Now your vase with 18 deers is most interesting. In "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms", there was a story called 十八路诸侯讨董卓 about 18 local war lords made a pact to fight the evil prime minister Dongzhuo and your vase came from that. You have 十八 (eighteen)路 (deer) 诸 (spider) and 侯 (monkey). This is Chinese symbolism using homophones to the extreme.”
As you see “18 deers, spider and monkey” perfectly matches the first part of the name of the story.
Great solution! I didn’t remember that.
This makes the motif quite rare, as said I have only seen it four times, and two of them are mine.
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