Monday, March 19, 2007

Ivory Fly Whisk Handle, Qing Dynasty

This object is a handle for a fly whisk. It contains the Eight Immortals of Taoism on the handle. Like another fly whisk handle in the collection, this object is missing the hair strands which would complete it. On one side we notice the two Immortals: Li T'ieh-kuai, recognizable by his emaciated body and crutch, and Lu Tung-pin, who has a sword on his back. To the side on the right we see Lan T'sai-ho, who is playing a flute, and Ts'ao Kuo-chiu, who carries a tablet and wears a hat. On the next side directly to the right there is another pair of Immortals. We notice Ho Hsien-ku, who is a female Immortal holding a long-stemmed lotus flower and Chung-li Ch'uan who holds a fan. On the final side we notice Han Hsiang-ku who is holding a basket of flowers over his head with his left arm, and Chang Kuo-lao who is riding a donkey.

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