Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

The Barlow Collection

A select catalogue of the Barlow collection of Chinese Ceramics, Bronzes and Jades by the University of Sussex (published Sussex, 2006).

The Barlow Collection by the University of Sussex

Publications online: 456 objects

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Bi disc and sceptre, or gui, with moons, stars, and carp decoration

  • loan



  • gui

    A Chinese ritual food vessel with a deep bowl on a foot ring and handles.


    • currently in research collection

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Publications online

  • The Barlow Collection by the University of Sussex

    The Barlow Collection

    This piece is shaped with archaistic concepts in mind, although no archaic piece of this shape is recorded. The type is discussed in Jessica Rawson, Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, London, 1995, pp.91f., where a related piece in the British Museum, attributed to the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), is illustrated, fig.88.

    The piece is cut from a pale buff-coloured stone in form of a circular disc (bi) with overall raised bosses, supported on the back with a pointed sceptre (gui), which is flat in front and bevelled from a central ridge at the back. The front is carved on top with a full moon and a triangular star formation and at the bottom with stylized splashing waves. The reverse shows a carp jumping from waves, emitting a vapour with a large star formation and a crescent moon above.

Object information may not accurately reflect the actual contents of the original publication, since our online objects contain current information held in our collections database. Click on 'buy this publication' to purchase printed versions of our online publications, where available, or contact the Jameel Study Centre to arrange access to books on our collections that are now out of print.

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