Octagonal Lantern, of elongated oval outline, molded of eggshell porcelain, enameled over the glaze with the brilliant colors and gilding of the best K'ang-hsi period (1662-1722).
The lantern is decorated with a procession of the eight Taoist Immortals crossing the ocean and with symbols of longevity round the borders. The pierced openwork railing at the top and bottom is carved with cloud scrolls inclosing circular "shou" characters, worked in slight relief in the paste under the celadon glaze. The sloping edges are painted with large "shou" characters, alternately green and gold, enveloped in clouds; and the receding shoulders are also covered with clouded scrolls upon a background dotted with black.
The floor of the lantern is covered with rolling crested sea-waves, painted green; the top is studded with constellations of gilded stars, a flying stork, and the gilded solar disk. The Taoist figures occupy the eight panels, represented, with their various attributes, floating across the sea. Beginning with the principal and proceeding from right to left, we see:
1. Chung li ch'uan, standing upon a large gourd and holding up a monstrous peach.
2. Lu Tung-pin, dressed in official robes, with a scroll picture in his hand, and his supernatural sword slung upon his back, standing upon a gnarled willow with its green branches waving overhead.
3. Lan Ts'ai-ho, on a floating lotus-leaf, carrying a wicker basket filled with lotus-blossoms and reeds.
4. Han Hsiang Tzu, playing upon his flute, mounted upon the head of a gigantic shrimp.
5. Chang Kuo, riding upon his famous mule, with the magic double gourd slung to his girdle, and a bamboo drum and sticks in his hand.
6. Ts'ao Kuo-ch'iu, standing upon a carp, holding a pair of castanets.
7. Li T'ich-kuai, standing upon a panicled reed supported by his "iron crutch," a gourd in his left hand, with the smoke issuing from it unfolding to show the lame and crooked beggar into which his spirit passed.
8. Ho Hsien-ku, a slender damsel with a short cloak of leaves, supported upon a lotus-petal and carrying a lotus-leaf.
William T. Walters, Baltimore; inherited by Henry Walters; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.