The Art and Orchid GalleryThe Art and Orchid Gallery
Carved Amber Boulder Group of Taoists in the Mountains

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Sculpture: Pre 1980: item # 1189477

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

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Carved Amber Boulder Group of Taoists in the Mountains
The Art and Orchid Gallery's large, intricate amber art exhibits deep well-defined carving. It is Taoist decorative art and exhibits three Taoists climbing into the Shou Shan, the Taoist paradise in the Kun Lun mountains. Similar Taoist scenes can be found in woven silk pictures; pietra dura screens; free standing screens; and on ceramics.[73A, 123B, 92E] The mythology of the Kun Lun mountains and its association with Xi Wang Mu, the Queen Mother of the West, goes back to the Shang Dynasty. Her name appears on oracle bones. She later becomes the Taoist Goddess who rules over Taoist immortals and bestows on them immortality through her peaches of longevity raised at Shou Shan.{92D, 73E, 123F] Just above the waves at the right side at the foot of the stairs, is Shou Lao, known as the Taoist God of Longevity, with his Pan Tao or 'peach of life' in hand.[123G, 159H] Following him is Li Tieh Kwai, a major Pa Sein or Taoist immortal, who spent much of his time in the Shou Shan. He is frequently depicted, as he is here, with his pilgrim's gourd.[40I, 191J] Last on the trail is a student carrying scrolls of calligraphy. The remainder of the boulder is cloud shrouded hills with small buildings, pine trees and a round moon, all typical of the Taoist paradise. Amber tests performed on this piece included: rubbing for electrical charge; insolubility in diethyl ether; smell on burning; softening on heating, hardness, specific gravity and general appearance and colors.[214K, 139L, 215M, 33N] Size: ~ 6 1/2" H x 5" x 1 1/2"; Weight: ~ 469 grams. References available upon request.

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