Rice Measure with Daoist Figures
Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Jiajing period (1522–66)
Carved red, green, and black lacquer
H. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm); W. 12 3/4 in. (32.4 cm); D. 12 7/8 in. (32.7 cm)
John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1913
This rice measure is adorned on each of its sides with Daoist figures in a landscape. The figure riding a black ox is Laozi (ca. 6th century B.C.), the reputed author of the Daodejing (The Classic of the Way and Its Virtue) and one of the most seminal figures in Daoism. As yet unidentified, the other three figures are attended by animals including a dragon, a dog, and a goat.