Chinese Porcelain Tea Set

From the Latvian National Museum of Art Collection

The Art Museum RIGA BOURSE

Chinese Tea Set Chinese Tea SetThe Art Museum RIGA BOURSE

The porcelain items visible here were made at the time of the Republic of China (1912–1949).

Chinese Tea Set Sugar-basinsThe Art Museum RIGA BOURSE

The inscription on one of the vessels shows that the item was painted in the Jiangxi Province in 1934.

Chinese Tea Set TrayThe Art Museum RIGA BOURSE

On the vessels you can see one of the most important mythical creatures in Chinese mythology – a dragon and a phoenix.

Usually, if the dragon and the phoenix are portrayed together, this is a symbol of good fortune and indicates the desire for peace and prosperity for the nation’s people. 

This is also shown in the Chinese saying: “When the dragon soars and the phoenix dances, the people will enjoy happiness for years, bringing peace and tranquillity to all under heaven.”

Chinese Tea Set Chinese Tea SetThe Art Museum RIGA BOURSE

On most of the vessels you can read various inscriptions.

Chinese Tea Set Sugar-basinsThe Art Museum RIGA BOURSE

以作宝鼎,子孙永用

Made this ding as a treasure, and hope my descendants will use it forever.

Chinese Tea Set Sugar-basinsThe Art Museum RIGA BOURSE

益寿延年

Promoting longevity

From the song Gao Tang Fu, which describes the story between the king of Chu and the goddess in his dream. It expresses the hope, that the goddess will bring blessings to the country and its people.

念三年江西新茂村

23th year of the Republic of China (1934) written in Xinmao Village, Jiangxi province.

Chinese Tea Set TeapotsThe Art Museum RIGA BOURSE

且试龙芽味若何句

Just try to find out how the Dragon-Bud (tea) tastes like.

“Dragon Bud” tea demonstrates the characteristics of high-quality green tea, which is in a bud shape, with strong taste, good fusion and symbolises the Chinese dragon spirit.

Chinese Tea Set TeapotThe Art Museum RIGA BOURSE

问渠哪得清如许句

How could the pool be so clear and cool?

This verse is from a poem "Impressions after Reading", which was composed by Zhu Xi (朱熹, 1130–1200) in 1196.

The verse is an interrogative sentence, which is followed by an answer: 
问渠哪得清如许,为有源头活水来 – How could the pool be so clear and cool? Because fresh water comes from the source. 

The metaphor acknowledges the need for development. Only with continuous study and exploration, people can move forward in their lifetime, like the water from the source.

Chinese Tea Set TeapotsThe Art Museum RIGA BOURSE

一片冰心

Pure and strong characters.

Poem "Seeing Xin Jian off at Hibiscus Pavilion" written by Tang Dynasty poet Wang Changling (王昌齡, 698–756).

芙蓉楼送辛渐 
【唐】王昌龄 
寒雨连江夜入吴, 
平明送客楚山孤。 
洛阳亲友如相问, 
一片冰心在玉壶。 

Along the river that merged with a cold rain, 
We entered the Wu city late at night. 
Early at daybreak I bid you farewell, 
With only the lone Chu Mountain in sight. 
If my kinsfolk in Luoyang should feel concerned, 
Please tell them for my part.
Like a piece of ice in a jade pot,
Forever aloof and pure remains my heart.

This poem expresses the emotions when seeing off a friend.

Chinese Tea Set CupsThe Art Museum RIGA BOURSE

群贤毕至,少长咸集

Here are gathered all the illustrious persons and assembled both old and young. 

From calligraphy work "The Orchid Pavilion" written by Wang Xizhi (王羲之, 301–363) which describes the beauty of the landscape and the joy of the gathering, expressing author’s feelings about the impermanence of life and death.

Chinese Tea Set CupThe Art Museum RIGA BOURSE

卫生雅品

Elegant goods for regimen.

Credits: Story

Exhibition Curator: Kristīne Milere, LNMA / Art Museum RIGA BOURSE
Inscriptions: Ma Yunjjie (马云洁), Qiao Yin (尹峤)
Photos: Kristiāna Zelča

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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