This Chinese calligraphy couplet was written by late 19th century Chinese scholar and government official XU SHICHANG. Both scrolls are 16 inches wide and 64 inches long and in good condition. The calligraphy measures 12 ½ inches wide and 52 inches long. Mr. Xu was born 1854 in Tianjing City and died 1939. During the late Qing Dynasty, he was appointed by the Qing Emperor as Viceroy of Manchuria and an official scholar of Ti-Ren Ge (royal chamber or cabinet). After the revolution of 1911 and the martial law that ensued, he was appointed President of China in 1918. However, he only held the position for a year. After he retired from political life, he established the Wen-Qing poetry club. Under his direction, the club edited and published several books of poetry. These scrolls were authenticated by Sotheby¡¯s in 1995.
The translation of the couplet reads:
When it is raining, appreciate the falling water; when the sky is clear, watch the moon.
In the early morning, listen to the sound of the zither; at night, listen to someone singing a song.