Shou, God of Longevity and Old Age. Shou or Shou Hsing means 'Star Of Long Life' is often depicted as old and bald, and associated with a Golden Peach of Immortality from Xi-Wangmu's Holy Peach Garden. These are found only in Heaven and ripen once every three thousand years. Ironically, he didn't actually get to eat one. His long life came about by quite different means. Once he was a young and sickly lad named Zhao-Yen, who was destined to die when he reached 19. Told by a fortune-teller to enter a certain field armed with a packed lunch, he found two men playing checkers. Having been warned to keep his mouth shut, he silently offered them spring rolls and wine, which were gratefully accepted. So gratefully, in fact, that the men, revealing themselves to be the Gods of Birth and Death, offered him longevity. First they took his allotted lifespan of 19 years and reversed it, giving 91 years. Then they munched another spring roll, had another sip of wine, and decided he deserved immortality. That must have been a very impressive packed lunch.
Chinese earthenware figurines depicting infamous, legendary, mythical or everyday characters. Often referred to as "Shiwan Figurines" due to the Shiwan region where the sculptures were originated. The figures are all hand-made and hand-painted. They are not gift boxed, but will be well packed and protected in protective packaging.
Shiwan ceramics originated from kilns located in the Guangdong provincial city of Foshan. Area ceramic production experienced a long history by the late Ming period 16th century when ceramic artisans from perhaps Dehua and Jingdezhen relocated to the Shiwan area and expanded local production into a vigorous export related industry. Shiwan ceramics provide a contrast with more conservatively rendered Dehua efforts. Clay for the ware was provided not only from area preserves, but also from distant locations that could be variously mixed to provide a variety of textures and desired ceramic outcomes. The range could extend from a porcelain, that could rival Dehua in purity, to a rough stoneware or earthenware for which many of the figurines are derived.
Today, the Shiwan pottery industry mainly serve the mass produced household vessels, such jars and flower pots, bowls, plates, tea pot, pots for boiling herbs, vases and other housewares. But Shiwan ceramics is particularly noted for its production of figurines.
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