Height: 2 3/4 inches, 7 cm
Length: 4 1/2 inches, 11 cm

Jade water pot

China, 18th century

A jade double water pot in the form of a cluster of a Buddha’s hand citron, peach and lingzhi fungus.  Both the Buddha’s hand citron and the peach are hollowed out to form water pots. The stone is largely of pale celadon tone with large areas of yellow.

The Buddha’s hand citron (foshou) is inedible, but emits a strong fragrance, which is why it was popular at the Court. The Buddha’s hand in combination with the peach (shoutao) represents two of the Three Abundances; the Buddha’s hand symbolizes abundant blessings, the peach longevity, as does the lingzhi fungus. This rustic vessel would have been placed by the scholar/artist on his desk and would have been used as a pot to dip a brush into before painting or writing calligraphy.

Provenance:
Major H. F. Stanley, MC (1911 – 1997), appointed in 1957 first executive director of the Hong Kong Tourist Association.

  1. Tse Bartholomew, T., Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, 1.2, p. 30
  2. Tse Bartholomew, T., ibid, 1.2.2, p. 31