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A1 Plaster cast of figurine 'Shou Lao', plaster, made for the South Australian Commission for the Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition, [made in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia], 1888-1889 (original figurine held in Powerhouse Museum collection number A4255, original figurine made in C. Click to enlarge.

Plaster cast of ‘Shou Lao’ figure

Designed in China, Asia, 1880-1887.
The name 'Shou Lao' originally comes from 'Lao Shou Xing'. In East Asia, the canopus was believed to be the Star of Longevity “Lao Shou Xing”. It was believed that this star came down to the earth and became the God of Longevity, Shou Lao.
The canopus or ‘Star of Longevity' can be seen in the southern hemisphere and rarely appear in the northern hemisphere. It was believed that seeing this star was regarded auspicious and would bring longevity to the person. Also it was believed that appearing this star three or four times a year will bring a good fortune to the nation.

Min-Jung Kim
Curator, 2007

Summary

Object No.

A1

Object Statement

Plaster cast of figurine 'Shou Lao', plaster, made for the South Australian Commission for the Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition, [made in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia], 1888-1889 (original figurine held in Powerhouse Museum collection number A4255, original figurine made in China, [early 19th century] and excavated in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, 1879)

Physical Description

Plaster cast of figurine 'Shou Lao', plaster, made for the South Australian Commission for the Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition, [made in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia], 1888-1889 (original figurine held in Powerhouse Museum collection number A4255, original figurine made in China, [early 19th century] and excavated in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, 1879).

Small plaster cast of a Chinese pinite carving (A4255) of the god of longevity, 'Shou Lao'. The figure is of a bearded man, riding astride a deer, his right arm is bent across his chest and in his right hand he holds a peach, his left arm rests on the deer's head.

Marks

Not checked

Dimensions

Height

120 mm

Width

80 mm

Depth

25 mm

Production

Designed

China, Asia 1880-1887

Notes

The original would have been carved in China

It is not known exactly when or where the plaster cast was taken, probably in South Australia, Adelaide, between 1880 and 1887.

It is unknown exactly when the plaster cast was made from the original.

History

Notes

The original figurine, from which this cast was taken was discovered in 1879 in Palmerston, Port Darwin, a government official Mr Strawbridge, took possession of the carving. In 1888/89 the plaster cast was presented at the Centennial International Exhibition in Melbourne, as part of the South Australian display. The Technological Museum in Sydney (later MAAS) acquired the plaster cast from this exhibition.

Cite this Object

Harvard

Plaster cast of 'Shou Lao' figure 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 15 August 2020, <https://ma.as/168094>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/168094 |title=Plaster cast of 'Shou Lao' figure |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=15 August 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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