It is said that, in the Song dynasty (960-1279 AD), people in Jialu village, Wuyuan county in China’s southeastern Jiangxi province, impressed by the oil-paper umbrellas brought to hometown by the then court minister Ma Tinglan, started to replicate and kept improving their techniques by later generations, thus making Jialu village an important source of oil-paper umbrellas in history. Jialu oil-paper umbrellas enjoy high reviews in the folk for their cute and light frame, pleasant decoration as well as durableness.
Legend has it that Emperor Kangxi of the Qing dynasty (1644-1912 AD), enjoying a Hui Opera in Wuyuan county when many audiences opened their umbrellas to prevent the unexpected rain, saw a piece of rock thrown by a naughty child at the umbrella that obstructed his sight of the stage bouncing off the canopy immediately. Out of curiosity, Emperor Kangxi asked about the umbrella. Thus ensued the famous saying of “Jialu umbrellas are the best under the Heaven”. In 1936, Jialu umbrellas won the Gold Award at the World Expo.
With a gourd-shaped ferrule, this umbrella has a round canopy decorated with bird and wisteria motifs. There is also an inscription left by the creator, reading “painted in Jialu during summer in the company of gentle breeze and beautiful clouds”.