National Treasure – Tiger Tally

September 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, National Treasure Tour, Recent Posts

In Chinese culture, the tiger is the King of the wild beasts. The tiger tally, a tiger-shaped tally, was used as imperial authorization for troop movement in ancient China. With a text inscribed on its back, it always consists of two parts. The right part retained in the central government while the left part was issued to the local official or the garrison commander.

When someone wanted to dispatch the troops from a certain region, he had to show the right part of the tiger tally and accepted the authorization. Only when the two parts could match each other, he could dispatch the troops.

Here is a collection of these rare treasures.

Tiger tally from the Spring and Autumn period (770–221 BC)
tiger-tally-01
Preserved in Xi’an City Institute of Protection of Cultural Relics
Address:No.68, West Youyi West Road, Xi’an
Tel:(029)85251916

Tiger tally from the period ruled by King Qin Huiwen (337-325 BC)
tiger-01
Preserved in Shaanxi History Museum
Address:91 East XiaoZhai Road, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province
Tel: 029-85266247
web:http://www.sxhm.com

Tiger tally from the Qin dynasty (221–207 BC)
tiger-tally-02
Preserved in National Museum of China
Address: 16, East Chang’an Street, Dongcheng district, Beijing
Tel: 010-65128901
web: http://www.chnmuseum.cn

Tiger tally from the Western Han Dynasty (207 BC – 25 AD)
tiger-tally-04
Preserved in Xianyang Museum
Address: in the middle section of Zhongshan Road, Xianyang City
Tel:029-33213015

Kunqu: Mother of Chinese Operas

September 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, National Treasure Tour, Recent Posts

Due to its great influence on other Chinese theatre forms, Kunqu is  known as the teacher or mother of many other types of Chinese operas.

It is an elegant opera in terms of music, recitation and the performers’ movements. Due to its soft arias and the graceful movements, it is acclaimed as watermill songs. It is also of great literary value as the performance itself has carried forward the tradition of ancient poetry and common speech.

kunqu-06

Today, you may appreciate the art form performed professionally in some mainland Chinese cities: Beijing (Northern Kunqu Theatre), Shanghai (Shanghai Kunqu Theatre), Suzhou (Suzhou Kunqu Theatre), etc.

National Treasure Tour – Henan Museum

August 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, National Treasure Tour, Recent Posts

cabbage

It is so beautiful, isn’t it? Besides its beautiful appearance, it is also the most valuable cabbage in Chinese history. Unbelievable? It is true. This ivory carving is one of the representatives of the Henan Museum. Click here to see the details of the ivory cabbage.

Henan is one of the birthplaces of Chinese nationality. In history, Henan had been the political, economic and cultural center of China for a long period of time, and over 20 dynasties chose to have their dynastic capitals either built or moved to Henan. Of the 8 ancient capitals of China, 4 are located in Henan. They are Luoyang, the ancient capital of 9 dynasties; Kaifeng, the ancient capital of 7 dynasties; Anyang, the ancient capital of Yin and Shang Dynasties; and Zhengzhou, the ancient capital of Shang Dynasty.

Therefore, Henan museum will provide you a great opportunity to have a basic understanding of Chinese culture and history. There is a saying said that:” If you have not been to Henan Museum, you have never been to Henan Province.”

Highlights of Henan Museum

Bronze-Jin-with-cloud-design

Bronze Jin with cloud design

Spring and Autumn Period (770-476B.C.)

Unearthed at Xichuan, Henan

Height: 28.8cm

Length: 103cm

Width: 46cm

Jin is a table for wine vessels. Its body has several layers of cloud-shaped relief decorations supported by bronze stalks of various sizes, with twelve dragon-shaped animals climbing around and another twelve staying at the bottom as legs of the Jin. Of all the bronze objects cast by using the lost wax casting technique unearthed in China, this one is the earliest. The exquisite and complex craftsmanship of this Jin reached an amazingly high level.

Square-ewer-with-design-of-lotus-and-crane

Square ewer with design of lotus and crane
Spring and Autumn Period (770-476B.C.)

Unearthed at Xinzheng, Henan

Height: 117cm

Mouth dimension: 30.5×24.9cm

This ewer, excavated in 1923, belonged to the King of the Zheng State. The vivid crane on its top of the ewer, which is spreading its wings ready for flight contrasts sharply to the traditional overelaborate decorations on its body. It reflects a completely new artistic idea in late Spring and Autumn Period.

Bone-Flute

Bone Flute: The Neolithic Age, unearthed with the Relics of Jiahu, Wuyang.
The Bone Flute, produced some 8,000 years ago, is made from the limb bone of a crane. The flute is commonly 20cm in length, and some 1cm in caliber. Its form is fixed, and the craftsmanship is standard. At one side are 7 perforated sound holes with almost identical intervals. Another smaller, attuning hole is between hole 6 and hole 7 and is closer to hole 7, indicating the complex of sound production was known to the flute maker.

Travel Tips:

Admission fee: Free
Opening Hours: 9:00—17:00 from Tuesday to Friday. No admittance after 15:30. Exhibition Hall is closed at 17:00 each day and closed every Monday except national holidays.
Address: No.8 Nongye Road, Zhengzhou
Telephone: 86-371-3511 237
Official Website: http://www.chnmus.net