QIANLONG 1736 – 1795 Giles Type English Decoration
A Rare English Enamelled Figure of Giles Type. The Chinese Export Porcelain Figure of the Immortal Zhang Guo Lao was Enamelled in London c.1750-1760, Probably in the Workshop of James Giles. The Immortal is Shown Standing Upright on an Oval Base Moulded with a Wave Motif Holding his Emblem a Fish Drum, Yü Ku.
- Height : 22 cm (8 3/4 inches)
- Stock number
- For a similar 18th century Chinese export porcelain figure with this distinctive moulded wave design to the base and similar enamelled flower over-decoration see : The Early James Giles and his Contemporary London Decorators (Stephen Hanscombe, Stockspring Antiques. 2008) page 76, items 64, 65 , and 66 illustrated on page 77.
The Immortal Elder Zhang Guo / Zhang Guo Lao :
Elder Zhang Guo, Zhang Guo Lao, one of the `Eight Immortals`. Images occur of him with the rest of the `Eight Immortals` on his own or often with his mule. His is depicted with a his emblem a fish drum, Yü Ku, which is a tube-shaped bamboo drum with two iron rods or mallets that he carries with him. He was a Taoist occultist-alchemist who lived on Mount Tiáo in the Heng Prefecture during the Tang Dynasty. By the time of Empress Wu, he claimed to be several hundred years old. He also declared that he had been Grand Minister to the Emperor Yao during a previous incarnation. Zhang Guo Lao was known for wandering between the Fen River & Chin territories during his lifetime and was known to travel at least a thousand li per day. Zhang Guo also had a love for wine and wine making. He was known to make liquor from herbs and shrubs as a hobby. Other members of the Eight Immortals drank his wine, which they believed to have healing or medicinal properties. He was also known to be a master of Taoist breath regulation or Qigong and could go without food for days, surviving on only a few sips of wine. He was the most eccentric of the eight immortals, as one can see from the kung fu style that was dedicated to him — which includes moves such as delivering a kick during a back flip, or bending so far back that your shoulders touch the ground.
The Eight Immortals :
The Eight Immortals are a group of legendary Xian, immortals or transcendents in Chinese mythology. Each Immortals power can be transferred to a power tool that can give life or destroy evil. Together, these eight tools are called `Covert Eight Immortals`. Most of them are said to have been born in the Tang Dynasty or Song Dynasty. They are revered by the Taoists, and are also a popular element in the secular Chinese culture. They are said to live on Penglai Mountain-Island.
The Immortals are : Immortal Woman He (He Xiangu),Royal Uncle Cao (Cao Guojiu),Iron-Crutch Li (LiTieguai),Lan Caihe,Lü Dongbin, (leader)Philosopher Han Xiang (Han Xiang Zi),Elder Zhang Guo(Zhang Guo Lao),and Zhongli Quan.