Its so nice to hear of the fate of my vintage goodies in their new homes. This 19th Century silver dragon chopstick holder has found a new home in Richfield Springs, New York. His new owner, fellow etsian Mary Jo has made a beautiful miniature landscape garden box which sits above her sink. The dragon looks quite excited to be in his new home! A perfect rock, balancing a jade budda on his tail - and a fisherman about to catch a fish - this looks like dragon heaven. Mary Jo loves to collect and you can see her vintage finds in her shop MJs Fabulous Finds at http://www.etsy.com/shop/moojoo88
The miniature garden started in China in the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) with an emperor who had his empire rebuilt in miniature including rivers, hills, and forests so that he could gaze upon his kingdom from his palace window. It was forbidden and punishable by death for anyone else to have a miniature garden. Later, the Chinese started making bonsai gardens and then monks brought them to Japan in 794 AD and the Japanese took to the art with a vengeance, although for many centuries it was an activity for the noble and the privileged. The west took some time to embrace the art of bonsai and it was not until 1935 that it was classified as a legitimate art form.
I love Asian decorative arts and I will be listing more pieces soon, like this lovely cork miniature landscape above. Here in Australia we are very privileged to be near asia and all the wonderful cultural influences (did I mention food? OMG don't get me started) from these rich and varied countries who have thousands of years of cultural history in the decorative arts.
Even in this climate of multiculturalism and extensive travel, vintage decorative objects from Asia in particular carry an exciting exoticism. For me they speak of a past time that I cannot imagine easily, and it is that mystery that appeals.