bamboo image inscribed; Sotheby's London, 6/12/95 Lot 516

Archer’s thumb ring, 1662-1722

Unknown artist, expand_more

According to Confucius, the "six accomplishments" of a gentleman included painting, calligraphy, poetry, lute (Qin) playing, chess (Wei Qi), and archery. Derived from the functional stone thumb rings needed when drawing composite bows, jade rings like this were symbolic objects for the scholar, who valued them for their Confucian overtones and link to antiquity. The exterior of this ring is decorated with Lingzhi (fungus of immortality) and bamboo. Of all literati pastimes, archery seems to have been the least practiced.

Archer’s thumb ring
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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bamboo image inscribed; Sotheby's London, 6/12/95 Lot 516