It’s been a while since I have worked on my object diary. I got off track sometime during the summer. I find it hard to stay on a schedule during the chaos of summer. Are you the same?
Somehow though, this chaos continued into the fall. I find that it has only been in the last couple of weeks that I have started to get back into a regular routine.
One reason for the fall chaos is that I travelled more than I normally do during that time. Summer was quiet—we did a trip to Lakefield and a trip to Niagara Falls plus to some beaches, but that was about it. In contrast in the fall I met up with my bestie for a weekend in P.E.I. and also went to visit my in-laws in Beijing for two weeks.
It has been 13 years since I have been in Beijing. When we left, I didn’t realize that it would be so long until I returned. I left behind the entire contents of our apartment, which my husband had boxed up, storing the boxes in his father’s basement.
Since we were there, I used the opportunity to go through the contents. Unboxing those memories brought a mixture of feelings up. There was puzzlement over some of the things I had kept plus sadness over the things I had to let go.
But there was also lots of joy. I found a lot of things that I thought that I had lost forever. I also found some things that I had forgotten I owned.
Here are five objects I brought back from China to add to my “Cabinet of Curiosities” here:
- The symbol of Wuhan, two cranes and a snake on a tortoise
We lived in Wuhan, which is in the centre of China and the capital of Hubei province, for about 1/2 year. This is a reproduction of the 1985 “The Return of the Yellow Cranes” bronze statue that can be found in front of the Yellow Crane Tower, which is one of the four great towers of China and the symbol of Wuhan. While doing research I discovered that there is also a 6 foot reproduction of this statue in Chicago. Cool!
- A lovely teapot to add to my collection
This teapot has found a place in the collection I already have. I posted some pictures of my other teapots in this post.
This time I decided to do a bit more research on the type of clay used in the teapots. Apparently the teapots are made from Yixing clay. Yixing clay has been used in Chinese pottery since the Song dynasty and comes from Jiangsu Province.
- A goat etched in a cowrie shell
We actually can’t remember where we got this from. We may have got it in Guangzhou, which is also know as “Goat City” or better “Five Goat City” due to the legend of the gods coming down on five goats to bring the people relief from hunger. There is a five goat statue in the city, and my husband and I have a picture of us in front of it. This would be a lovely memory, because Guangzhou is one of my favourite Chinese cities. On the other hand, more likely it is meant to represent the Chinese year of the goat. It could be that we got it in the goat year of 2003.
- Sancai pottery horses
We got these two horses on one of the famous pedestrian shopping streets in Beijing. It’s not a surprise that I have them, as I have been crazy for horses since I was a child. Sancai means three colours, and it is used to decorate Chinese pottery; it was used especially during the Tang dynasty. The three colours used are brown/amber, green, and off-white.
- Reproductions of the Terracotta Warriors
One of my favourite tourist sites in all of China is the Xi’an Terracotta Warriors.
In 1974 a group of farmers unearthed the first fragments of what turned out to be a whole army of life sized terracotta warriors and horses. They had been buried undisturbed for 2000 years near the tomb of China’s first emperor.
We visited the museum that covers some of the pits that contain this army. Some have been reconstructed, others still remain in pieces. What’s remarkable about the army—besides the fact that there are so many figures—is the fact that they are all so individual looking. No cookie cutter artistry here!
After we finished our tour of the museum—which included a glimpse of one of the farmers who discovered the first fragments—we purchased these miniature reproductions of four warriors and a horse just behind the museum.
It’s neat that these knick knacks represent several places in China that are dear to my heart. It’s a travelogue of sorts.
Shoe’s Sunday Stories
@Copyright 2019 Linda Schueler