Clay Mud Man Seated Scholar Vintage Chinese Pottery Figurine
- Vintage item
This handsome Shiwan clay mud man figurine depicts a Chinese scholar seated at a low table. He is bent over his book, studying, with his inkstone to his right (for grinding up a cake of ink on) and his brush rest on his left, both used for calligraphy. He is wearing a celadon green shirt and white trousers, with his hair styled in a tonsure on top and plaited down his back in a queue.
He is a mud man figurine, originally designed over 1000 years ago to decorate bonsai landscapes called Pen'Jing. They were created by hand from clay mud, thus earning their name. In the intervening centuries, mud men (and rarely mud women) came to be used to decorate fish tanks and planters. While small ones are still used that way, larger ones like this one are usually tabletop décor, although it could certainly be used in a large planter.
The figurine measures 4 1/4 inches tall, 6 1/8 inches wide and 4 1/4 inches from front to back. Stamped on the unglazed bottom are the words "Made in China" and the number 26. It weighs about 1 1/2 pounds and is in excellent condition, with beautiful colors and details.