The awarding ceremony on June 20
Six pieces of cultural relics that have been sorted out from among 13,329
pieces of stored gems around China in the past two years were unveiled in
Beijing on June 20. They are entitled "China's Folk National Treasures."
They are respectively the Pot of Duke Qin in late Western Zhou dynasty (1100
-771 BC); the scroll "A Hundred Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix" in the Qing
Dynasty (1644-1911); the Chinese chess manual scripts "the Deep Pool, Infinite
Sea" in the Qing dynasty; the modern-age Xiuyan Jade Dragon Bed; the present-day
sandalwood carving "Celebrations at Jasper Lake, A Legendary Wonderland Where
the Fairy Queen Lives," and the Qing Dynasty Wood Carving Screen Wall . These
national treasures have been kept intact through the centuries..
In order to guarantee their safety, an insurance policy has been purchased
for these six folk treasures from the Beijing Sub-branch of the Sunshine
Property Insurance Joint-Stock Co., LTD. at a total cost of 310 million yuan (or
some 40 million US dollars).
The Pot of Duke Qin
The 42.3-centimeters-high pot, one of the bronze artistic gems in ancient
China, is intricately embellished. Around the inner brink of the pot are two
lines of Chinese characters meaning "it was the Duke of the State Qin that had
the pot made." Experts confirmed that the pot was made as a ritual vessel for
the Duke of the State Qin, a ducal state in late Western Zhou Dynasty.
The pot was purchased by the noted Taiwan collector Hsu Yu-hai for a huge sum
of money and returned to China in recent years.
The scroll "A Hundred Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix"
The 7-meter painting scroll "A Hundred Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix "
is a masterpiece of Qing dynasty painter Shen Quan, who distinguished himself
for his flower-and-bird painting works. It's a piece of meticulous painting
creation with fine, delicate strokes in dark ink and rich colors. In this
painting, there are approximately 300 lively birds, such as phoenixes, peacocks
and golden pheasant, all with beautiful feathers against a backdrop with Chinese
parasol trees, willows and peach trees.
The painting master Shen Quan used to be invited to Japan to share his superb
painting skills. Immediately upon his return, Shen Quan did the masterpiece "A
Hundred Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix" with the pigment presented to him by
the Japanese emperor.
The scroll was purchased by a curio collector in 1975 at Liulichang in
Beijing, at the cost of 180 yuan, which was relatively expensive at that time.