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Chinese famille verte plate, Kangxi (1662-1722), decorated in overglaze enamels with an assortment of scholarly objects and antiques, including a central bowl containing Buddha’s hand citron upon a four-legged stool, archaic bronze-form vases containing blossoming chrysanthemum, lingzhi, coral and feathers, beribboned scrolls, the three-legged money toad (蟾蜍 ‘chan-chiu’) and a low table with an incense burner and other vessels; the cavetto with concentric circles in iron-red and a band of green lotus-stem tendrils, the rim with four fan-shaped cartouches containing scrolling lotus with other small flowerheads, between further collections of the hundred antiques, including ruyi-head sceptres, scrolls, guqin and incense burners; the reverse with three floral sprays and a central archaic vessel within double circle in underglaze cobalt blue.
The chanchu (蟾蜍; ‘toad in the moon’) or jinchan (金蟾; ‘money toad’) is a mythical three-legged toad associated with Liu Haichan, a Daoist Immortal said to have lived during the 10th century and revered as a bringer of good fortune and longevity. Other symbols of longevity, a preoccupation of the Daoist tradition, include lotus and lingzhi. Meanwhile, the elegant furniture, antiques and scholarly accoutrements on this dish are representative of the good taste and learning of the Kangxi gentleman collector.