Antique Oil Lamps For Ships

Thursday, December 16th, 2010 | Author:
Gimbled Ships Lamps

Antique Table Lamps and the Eight Immortals

Every age and every society has its saints and sages and with its long history, China has produced a great number, some so ancient, as to be lost, except for the echo.

One of the great Chinese philosophies is Taoism, the founder of Taoism is believed by many to be Lao-Tzu (604-531 BCE), a contemporary of Confucius. He was searching for a way that would avoid the constant feudal warfare and other conflicts that disrupted society during his lifetime. The result was his great teaching, the Tao Te Ching. Many believe however, that whoever Lao-Tzu was, he is probably a mythical character, symbolizing the combined great wisdom teachings of the era.

Central to religious Taoism are the eight spiritual beings known as the eight immortals (Xian in Chinese) and perhaps intended to be allegorical, these super-humans or perfect persons (chin jean) came to be worshipped and emulated by Taoists.

These perfect beings dwell far away in an untroubled place, where they experience an effortless existence of physical freedom. They are ageless, eat nothing but air, drink nothing but dew, and enjoy the power of flight, they truly exemplify the Taoist virtue of spontaneity and spiritual transcendence.

These powerful eight beings are said to have been born in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) or Song Dynasty (960-1279). . Among the Eight Immortals, a number seem to have had actual historical existences. They were real people. Nevertheless, the many stories that have accumulated, describing the magical and mysterious lives of these immortals, make it well-nigh impossible to distinguish historical from mythological reality.

The eight Immortals frequently appear in Chinese literature, mythology and art and each has a symbol and special power. As a group, they are associated symbolically with good fortune as well as the “eight conditions of life, youth, age, poverty, wealth,

high rank, and common people, feminine and masculine. Today, the eight immortals represent the hope for long life and abundant good fortune in the present world.

The Antique and Vintage Table Lamp Co illustrate a pair of 19th century Chinese lamps, mounted on French rococo, ormolu bases, The lamps, decorated with a subject of the eight immortals, as they skim across the surface of the ocean on their progress to the island of the blessed.

About the author: Maurice Robertson, principal of The Antique and Vintage Table Lamp Co , has had a lifetimes association with antique porcelain and pottery,with his commercial experience spaning a period of 40 years,including as a valuer to the Australian Governments Incentive to the Arts Scheme. His long experience with antique ceramics and glass also includes dealing with leading museums and numerous international private collections. He has extended his ceramics expertise into the quality table lamps seen on the companys site, he is well known to local and international interior designers who have included many of his table lamps in their projects and has also supplied items of national interest to the official Sydney residence of the Australian Prime Minister.


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