Dimensions: screen 51cm high, 37cm wide
– Acquired from an old English collection in the 1980s
– Private collection Isle of Man
– Private collection in England, by inheritance
This rare and impressive screen is modelled on one side with the Taoist “Temple of Mystery” surrounded by trees. The façade of the building is inscribed with the characters “Xuan Gong Miao”. The central scene set within an openwork frame.
The Taoist Temple of Mystery is located in the old city of Suzhou. The lane running on a north-south axis leading to the gates is called Gong Xiang. The Ming Emperor Jiajing was a fanatical Taoist and it seems likely that this unique scholar’s table screen was made during his reign.
Dating consistent with the results of thermoluminescence test, Oxford Authentication Ltd., no. C123b79