Exquisite screens keep out the cold in winter

  
Via:  Buzz of the Orient  •  2 months ago  •  11 comments

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Exquisite screens keep out the cold in winter
 

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Exquisite screens keep out the cold in winter

In celebration of winter, the Palace Museum in Beijing has shared a range of photos featuring its collection of Chinese  pingfeng , or screens, with netizens on the micro blog Sina Weibo. During ancient times, Chinese  pingfeng  were always used to keep out the cold or as ornaments. This ancient invention is an essential part of traditional Chinese furniture.

While the earliest common use of  pingfeng  dated back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), the furniture piece flourished in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) royal palace, which had more than 290 varieties. Screens were placed on desks, walls and the ground. A variety of exquisite screens can be seen in the list of relics below.

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A red sandalwood-framed folding screen embedded with jade and flower paintings, from the Qianlong Period of the Qing Dynasty. [Photo/Official Weibo account of the Palace Museum]

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A Qing Dynasty red sandalwood-framed hanging screen shaped like a gourd and embedded with jade. [Photo/Official Weibo account of the Palace Museum]

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A round jasper table screen from the Qing Dynasty. [Photo/Official Weibo account of the Palace Museum]

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A red sandalwood-framed table screen embedded with a glass painting, from the Qianlong Period of the Qing Dynasty. [Photo/Official Weibo account of the Palace Museum]

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A red sandalwood-framed folding screen embedded with glass oil paintings, from the Qianlong Period of the Qing Dynasty. [Photo/Official Weibo account of the Palace Museum]

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A Qing Dynasty hanging screen with painted flowers and embedded jade. [Photo/Official Weibo account of the Palace Museum]

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A red sandalwood-framed screen embedded with dyed ivory, willow and swallow paintings from the Qing Dynasty. [Photo/Official Weibo account of the Palace Museum]

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A double-sided red sandalwood-framed table screen embedded with bamboo, flower and bird paintings from the Qing Dynasty. [Photo/Official Weibo account of the Palace Museum]

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A red carved screen from the Qing Dynasty. [Photo/Official Weibo account of the Palace Museum]

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A red sandalwood-framed screen embedded with ivory, flower and bird paintings from the Qing Dynasty. [Photo/Official Weibo account of the Palace Museum]

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A Qing Dynasty hardwood table screen inlaid with mother-of-pearl and a landscape painting. [Photo/Official Weibo account of the Palace Museum]

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A Qing Dynasty rosewood-framed table screen embedded with a glass mirror. [Photo/Official Weibo account of the Palace Museum]

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An embedded enamel hanging screen featuring a painting of court figures, from the Qianlong Period of the Qing Dynasty. [Photo/Official Weibo account of the Palace Museum]

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Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    2 months ago

If you could have ONE of these, which one would you choose?  I think I would want the round green jasper one.

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
1.1  zuksam  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    2 months ago

I'd take the sandalwood-framed table screen embedded with a glass painting, I like the flowering branch under the moon with the blue sky. That would really look nice on my Mantle.

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
1.1.1  zuksam  replied to  zuksam @1.1    2 months ago

I think that glass painting might be two layers with the branch and moon on the front pane and the background sky on the back to give it a 3D effect.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2  Kavika     2 months ago

What beautiful pieces of art. 

I agree, I'd want the green jade one.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
PhD Expert
3  Greg Jones    2 months ago

Agreed.  I like the outdoor scene with the stream and tree

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
3.1  zuksam  replied to  Greg Jones @3    2 months ago

I like that picture too but the black frame with white inlays wouldn't go with my decor.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Junior Principal
4  Gsquared    2 months ago

Those are magnificent screens.  

Buzz, as you know, I am very interested in Chinese Scholar's Table screens, or desk screens as they are sometimes referred to, and you have shown some beautiful examples here.

I own two.  I have owned the mother-of-pearl Tree of Life piece for about 40 years.  It is approximately 19 1/2 x 12 inches.  I have owned the jade piece for about 30 years.  It is approximately 9 1/2 x 6 inches, which is much smaller than most desk screens I have seen.  They are both fairly old.

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zuksam
Junior Silent
4.1  zuksam  replied to  Gsquared @4    2 months ago

I like the jade one with it's rounded carving style plus the burl inner frame. Are these screens plain on the backside, the same, or a lesser design ?

 
 
 
Gsquared
Junior Principal
4.1.1  Gsquared  replied to  zuksam @4.1    2 months ago

I love my desk screens.

They are plain on the back. 

The purpose of the table screen is to prevent the breeze blowing through the window from ruffling papers on the scholar's desk, to prevent the sun coming through the window from drying the ink they were using and to provide inspiration for the scholar when he engaged in scholarly pursuits such as composing music and poetry.  They were a traditional part of the scholar's desk ensemble, which also included a brush pot, a brush stand, an inkstone and a brush washer, among other items.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
4.1.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Gsquared @4.1.1    2 months ago

Many thanks for that explanation of the purpose of the screens, and showing us those in your possession.. 

 
 
 
Gsquared
Junior Principal
4.1.3  Gsquared  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.1.2    2 months ago

My pleasure.

 
 
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