SEACS Former President Alvin Chia shares with members a Famille Rose bowl with a Tongzhi mark (late Qing, r. 1862-1874) that features a pair of peaches, popular symbols for ‘long life’ on the inside and four famous Chinese scholars/literati on the exterior.

Could it have been used for such a special occasion as a birthday gift?

Si Maguang

Wang Xizhi

Tao Yuanming

Zhu Geliang

Si Maguang, the Song Dynasty historian and magistrate, is well known for the famous anecdote which relates how as a young boy, saved his playmate from drowning when he fell into the large vat filled with water. Maguang kept his cool and smashed the vat with a stone.

Wang Xizhi, revered as the Sage of Calligraphy lived during eastern Jin Period of the Six Dynasties. He mastered his calligraphy skills by watching/mimicking the graceful way geese moved their necks.

Tao Yuanming, a major poet of the Six of Dynasties, lived from the Eastern Jin (1115-1234) to the Song Period (960-1279). He left the civil and military service to escape the politics and seek a life of seclusion, living in the countryside, farming reading and writing poems. One of his well-known poems “Drinking Wine” relates him plucking chrysanthemums.

Zhu Geliang, a master strategist of the late Han Dynasty, is regarded as one of the wisest men in Chinese history. He won many battles against Cao Cao and Shu Qian during the reign of Emperor Liu Bei. He is often depicted carrying a fan made of crane feathers to remind him not to be tempted by things of an attractive appearance.