Sometimes some people are just so lucky (of
course there should be hidden karmic reasons behind the phenomenon
since there is no free lunch in this universe, as we firmly
believe, so we are not whinge about that). When a Chinese
farmer in Sichuan tried
to root a tree, he discovered a priceless bronze
ware buries underneath. After examination by the experts,
the article was confirmed to be produced during the East
Han Dynasty in the 1st century.
The bronze ware is made to be used as a water
dripper (砚滴) to add water to the ink slab while grinding
ink for writing or painting.
Apart from its advanced age, what's unusual
about this item is its shape which resembles a turtle with
a snake cooling on its back and a pan held by its mouth.
Water can be added into the hidden container in the body
of the turtle from an opening on the top surface, and by
slightly tilting the turtle water would drop into the pan.
In the traditional Chinese culture, turtle
is revered as Black Warrior (玄武), guarding the direction
of north. As one of the four mystical and spiritual creatures
in Chinese legends, it symbolizes one of the four fortunes
in human life: longevity.
So far, China only has a few turtle-shaped
ink dripper made of bronze in its entire collection.
(Source of info/photo: 吴伟 李罡 - 华西都市报)
Old Crystal Ring
Traditional Anhui Architecture