THREE EMBROIDERED SILK 'TEN-THOUSAND PEOPLE' CANOPIES, WAN MIN SAN
QING DYNASTY, DATED 1916
dedicated to Mr Ao Si Deng (English name unknown), each signed with the names of his staff on satin stripes hanging from the canopies, one inscribed with the motto 'Ai Ren Ru Ji' (Love others as you love yourself), another inscribed with 'Gong Zheng Lian Ming' (Be fair and incorruptible) (3)
largest 210cm high approx.
Private Glasgow collection; collected in the 1960s and 1970s.
'Ten-thousand people canopies' were made in the Qing Dynasty as gifts of gratitude to popular and meritorious officials leaving their posts. They were often inscribed with phrases honouring the contribution of the official and signed by all members of the community he presided over. The present lot is dedicated to the British engineer Mr Ao Si Deng by the Chinese workers on the Hanzhuang-Puzhen section of the Tianjin-Pukou Railway. This was the southern part of the line constructed with British loans, while the northern part was built by the Germans under the supervision of Julius Dorpmüller. Ao Si Deng is named here as the 'Chief Mechanics Supervisor'. According to Chinese sources, he was the first director of CRRC Nanjing Puzhen Rolling Stock Co.,Ltd., appointed in 1908 by Emperor Guangxu and discharged in 1927 by the Republican government.