Subject:Re: Help with old Chinese porcelain vase with text
Posted By: Bill H Wed, May 31, 2017
At my age, I'm afraid to start a classical Chinese translation for fear I may lack the time to finish it. But, I have a book called "The Great Fortune",which covers Chinese and Japanese 19th and 20th century porcelain in the Georg Weishaupt collection. I include snippets from it relevant to your wall pocket as follows.
The red-robed figure shown above from your vase is Liang Gong, a palace secretary and general of the Tang Dynasty, He was a Chancellor under Wu Zetian (624-705), the wife of Emperor Gaozong, who succeeded on her husband's death as ruler from 690-705.
The right-hand panel in the middle photo above begins at the top right of the inscription and continues down and across to near the bottom of the third line as:
"Playing a bamboo pipe or riding on the back of a crane they (Wu Zetian and her courtiers) traverse the garden. All have cheeks that are red (for pleasure) as lotus blossoms. The nobles fight to lead the horse (of the empress), only Liang Gong smiles (does not flatter her, but dares to give her his opinion and thus to serve the state)."
I'm hopeful there may be others among us who can provide some flavor of the remainder.