The Art and Orchid GalleryThe Art and Orchid Gallery
Large Old Treen Carving with Brass Inlay

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All Items: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Wood: Pre 1980: item # 1160675

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The Art and Orchid Gallery
7896 SE Peach Way
Jupiter, Florida

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Large Old Treen Carving with Brass Inlay
The Art and Orchid Gallery's old Chinese treen (wood carving) is a figural group crafted from a single piece of wood about 1920-1930. Typical of that time, there is inlaid ivory teeth and glass eyes. Less typical is the abundance of inlaid brass over the figure's robes, acting as embroidery on textile. The carving has many undercuts on the figures and the base. The figures are the popularized Taoist star god, Fu-Hsing, and the child he frequently carries.[42A, 32B, 159C] Fu-Hsing is one of the Taoist star gods who symbolizes happiness.[92D] The other two are Shou Hsing, for longevity, and Lu-Hsing, for wealth. Interestingly, two large brass inlaid symbols are the shou, in one of its many forms.[32E] It is a very old symbol, which, in Confucianism, stands for the belief that wisdom comes with age, and later in Taoism, stands for the quest for immortality.[123F] On the back of the carving, attached to the belt, are two peaches and leaves. While peaches from the garden of Xi Wang Mu, are supposed to be fruit of eternal life and generally associated with Shou Lao [123G], a very popular longevity god, they are also carried by Fu-Hsing with the baby.[32B] There is another longevity symbol inlaid in brass on the robe drapery of the right arm. It is the crane.[33H] Since this inlaid carving is from the early 20th Century when Taoism is totally popularized, we are seeing a blending of old Ming Period Taoist symbolism in this treen; what Dr. Bushell calls 'Fu-Shou' (happiness and longevity).[32E] With its dual symbolism and abundance of fine brass inlay work, the treen becomes more desirable. There are multiple age cracks, including one that runs from the base to the arm. They can be restored but may continue to develop as the wood dries. References available upon request. Size: ~ 18 1/4" H x 6 1/2" x 4"; Weight: ~ 5 1/2 pounds

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