late Ming (1368–1644) or early Qing (1644–1911) dynasty
Purple sandalwood (zitan)
H. 40 1/8 In. (101.9 cm); W. 22 3/8 in. (56.8 cm); D. 18 1/8 in. (45.7 cm)
Purchase, The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 1976
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 218
The calligraphy by the two leading talents of Suzhou, Zhu Yunming (1461–1527) and Wen Zhengming (1470–1559), imparts a literary and aesthetic dimension to these functional objects.
Inscription: The splat is inscribed with a facsimile of calligraphy by Zhu Yunming:
"That day the sky was bright, the air was clear, the breeze gentle; look up to the great universe and down at the ripeness of everything. Feast the eyes, stretch the imagination to the fullest. This gives the greatest pleasure to sight and hearing. True happiness is when people going through life have varied iterests. Some stay in one place discussing ideas from within. Some go out giving themselves over to bold earthly pleasures. There are ten thousand different ways active and inactive. However, the personal satisfaction of doing them gives the same pleasure. Bing Xu 10th month 15th day of the year 1526— Chi Shan Qiao Ren"