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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)



19th century

Indispensable objects for a scholar's desk, waterdroppers controlled the amount of water dripped onto an inkstone and were decorative as well as functional. Lotus pods symbolize fertility, and their name, lianzhi, is also a pun for "continuous sons." Turtles and peaches, as well as the figure of Shoulao riding the bull, are popular motifs for longevity. The oddly shaped citron is one of the Three Abundances in China and was popular in Japan as a scholar's accoutrement. The festive persimmon fruit, so elegantly depicted here, has long been a symbol of joy and good fortune in East Asia.

2 x 4 1/4 x 4 in. (5.08 x 10.8 x 10.16 cm)
Gift of Frank D. Stout
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, "Live Long and Prosper: Auspicious Motifs in East Asian Art", May 23, 2009 - February 21, 2010

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