Monday, October 8, 2012

Broken Ancient Chinese Jar - a Mystery

Dr Abe V Rotor  
Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
This artifact was among the last articles added to the former St Paul museum's collection before I left as its caretaker. I found this at the back of the school gym thrown away with the thrash which was to be carried out by a garbage truck. By providence and nick of time I got hold of it to become one of the rarest collections of the museum.

Decapitated Chinese porcelain jar discovered at the SPUQC campus. The head or rim is missing which might hold the key to know if it belongs to the Ming (1368 -1644) or Ch'ing dynasty (1644-1612) - or earlier. The firing technique and glazing used must have been very slow and tedious, unlike the modern method, one clue that the artifact is indeed very old.

Note the Chinese characters, their costumes and makeup, in a setting characteristic of the Renaissance. While it is well known that Renaissance started in Florence and spread over the whole of Europe, China on the other side of the globe had long been wearing silk and all the fine culture of living that accompanied it - something Europe had yet to experience at that time. Notice also the setting of a garden, typical of the biblical Paradise which the Renaissance popularized. It is also apparent that such a setting originated in China and could be earlier if we make as reference old Chinese paintings in the early dynasties BC, such as Chou (time of Alexander the Great and Aristotle) to Shang (oldest dynasty, contemporary of ancient Egypt).

Armless Venus & Headless Chinese Porcelain Jar

Beauty is Venus, more so without arms;
for without, the mind recreates
its own that no one else is the same;
a headless jar, she too, is beautiful, though broken -
had it not, as I would compare Venus with arms,
I wonder if I am any different,
seeking the ideal, the complete,
throwing away things that are broken,
or breaking things that are beautiful
because I can't own beauty,
or I'd just walk down a road alone,
weeds flowering under my feet. ~

Go to your nearest museum and learn more about our lesson. Why don't you start making a home museum, better still initiate a school or community museum. Just convert an existing place appropriate for the purpose. You can start with a small budget - not on infrastructure or sophisticated gadgets which are very expensive. The simpler your museum is, the more your visitors will feel at home. The museum is really for them. Examples: Farmers' Museum, Alumni Museum, Town or Barangay Museum. Combine your Museum with your school garden - EcoSanctuary, Gene Bank, Botanical Garden, Plant Nursery, EcoGarden and Museum.

Authentication is a specialized work. Get help from experts and reliable institutions, such as the National Museum. For documents, National Library; Filipiniana, National Historical Institute; for the arts and cultural matters, National Commission for the Culture and the Arts, Oriental and European history, University of Santo Tomas Museum; biology and ecology, UPLB Museum of Natural History. There is a national museum in every country, and many other museums of national and worldwide reputation. ~

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