A Pair of Fine Kangxi Blue and White Porcelain Bowls c.1690-1710. Both Decorated to the Interior with Four Depictions of Lady Ma, Ma Gu Xian Shou Arranged Around a Raised Central Boss. The Outer Border Carved in a Variation of the Pierced Linglong Technique. Below that are Four Large Groups of Flowers.
Condition: Very good, one bowl with a minute glaze chip c.1 or 2mm.
Size: Diameter : 19 cm (7 1/2 inches)
References:For a Kangxi Blue and White Porcelain bowl of this pattern and size See :Pronken Met Oosters Porselein (Stephen Hartog, Uitgeverij Waaders b.v. 1990) page 67, plate 49.
Another Kangxi bowl of this design is illustrated in :The Blue and White Porcelain of China (Brian S McEney, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Canada. 1992. ISBN 0-88885-148-0) page 94, plate 88.
For a further Kangxi Porcelain bowl of this type see our `Sold` section 19050.
For a scroll painting showing a portrait of the Ma Gu Xian Shou in the National Palace Museum with the text below see
Attributed to Ma Hezhi (fl. ca. 1140-1190), Song dynasty. Hanging scroll, ink and colors on paper, 124.4 x 62 cm
The first part of Yan Zhenqing's (709-785) "Record on the Altar of the Immortal Magu" quotes Ge Hong's (283-343) Biographies of Deities and Immortals, telling how the immortal Wang Yuan invited Magu ("Hemp Maiden") to Cai Jing's home, where she changed rice into pills of immortality. The latter part of Yan's text records the Altar's location where she achieved the Dao (Fuzhou, Nancheng County).
Here Magu is shown with long fingernails, as in Ge's description of her as "18 or 19 (years old). Her hair was tied up, some strands falling about" and with "hands as if bird claws." Her basket has a gourd, spirit fungus, and flowers, associating her with fortune, longevity, and auspiciousness. The style reveals an early Qing dynasty (1644-1911) date, so the earlier Yuan and Ming collector seals are most likely spurious.
Lady Ma, Ma Gu Xian Shou, Magu, (Immortal Xu Miao) :
Lady Ma Ma Gu Xian Shou was a Taoist goddess associating with fortune, longevity, and auspiciousness. Ma Gu Xian Shou is sometimes refereed to as the Goddess of Hemp (Immortal Xu Miao). This relates to a story depicted in the classic novel `Journey to the West` Xi You Ji. Ma Gu Xian Shou attended the peach banquet held by the Queen Mother of the West, for which she brewed a special wine made of cannabis. She gave this to the Queen Mother Xi Wang Mu, and the image of this scene has become renowned as “Ma Gu Offers Longevity”, Ma Gu Xian Shou. This heavenly birthday party takes place once every ten thousand years. The depictions of Ma Gu Xian Shou show her with presents of peaches, a basket of herbs and flowers on her way to the heavenly party which is attended by all the other gods, she is sometimes shown with a deer.