武英门铺首 A Pu Shou or door knocker of the Gate of Martial Valor

武英门铺首纹样在故宫中实属少见(见图1)。武英门同治八年(1869)毁于火,同年重修[1],该铺首应属清晚期。与明代、清早中期铺首相比,最大变化在于螺蛳特征减弱:1,三瓣圆鼻头变为一个鼻头两个鼻孔;2,正常的眼珠变为双目圆睁,末端多出若干鱼尾纹;3,火焰状的螺蛳眉变为两撇武夫式浓眉;4,“U”形犄角变为叉状鹿角;5,最大变化在于额头圆盖状结构消失,代以老虎的“丰”字纹。

This pattern is rare in the Forbidden City (see Figure 1). The Gate of Martial Valor(武英门)was destroyed by fire in the eighth year of the reign of Emperor Tongzhi, Qing dynasty (1869), and rebuilt in the same year [1]. Therefore, the Pu Shou should belong to the late Qing Dynasty. Compared with the Door Knockers of Ming Dynasty and early or middle Qing Dynasty, the greatest change is that all the features of the snail are weakened: 1, the three-lobed round nose becomes a nose with two nostrils; 2, two eyes opened wide with a few crow’s feet at the corners; 3, the flame-like snail eyebrows have become two stroke warrior-like thick eyebrows; 4, the “U” shaped horns become forked antlers; 5, the biggest change is the disappearance of the forehead round lid-like structure, which is replaced by a tiger’s “丰” pattern.

注释notes:
[1] 万依《故宫辞典》[增订版],故宫出版社,2018

钦安殿的幡杆与夹杆石(Flagpole and stone pedestal in the Hall Of Imperial Peace)

图1 夹杆石(figure 1 – flagpole pedestal, 2017)

幡杆夹杆石位于钦安殿前西南角,建在大理石的基座上(图1)。夹杆石的四面均有双龙戏珠刻纹(图2)。故宫藏品总目编号(故204008)清晰可见(图3)。上网查了一下,藏品名称为铜镀金旗纛亭,貌似数据库有误。后来看到观靖的论文《诚祈应感钦安殿道场》[6]才恍然大悟,原来此处标记的不是幡杆,而是其顶部的宝顶!据观靖,幡杆被记载为:“「五龙捧圣大旗杆」,纛杆长九丈五尺五寸(约三十一米),杆顶安有「铜胎镀金四方重檐亭」样式的宝顶一座,宝顶内有银匣,内贮《元始天尊说北方真武妙经》、《元始无量度人上品妙经》。”

The stone flagpole pedestal is located in the front southwest corner of the Hall of Imperial Peace (钦安殿:Qin An Dian) , and built on a marble base (figure 1). The four sides of the pedestal are engraved with double dragons frolicking with magic pearl (figure 2). The catalog number 204008 of the Palace Museum collection is clearly visible (figure 3). Checked it out online, it’s called a copper-plated flagpole pavilion, and it looks like the data entry is wrong. Later, I saw Guan Jing’s paper “sincerely pray for the Hall of Imperial Peace Dojo”[6] , it turns out that the description here is not about the flagpole itself, but the top structure of the pole, the baoding (literally, “treasure top”) . According to Guan Jing, the flagpole was recorded as: “Five Dragons Holding the Flagpole“. The pole is nine zhang, five chi long (about 31 meters). On the top of the pole is a “gold-plated copper square pavilion with double eaves” baoding. There is a silver box in the baoding, which contains “the Celestial Venerable father of the Primordial Beginning tells the wonderful Sutra of northern Zhenwu” (元始天尊说北方真武妙经) and “Primal Beginning Boundless Salvation Highest Level Mystical Scripture“ (元始无量度人上品妙经).

图2 双龙戏珠(figure 2 – double dragons frolicking with magic pearl, 2019)
图3 藏品总目编号(figure 3 – catalog number, 2017)

基座的四角上有鳖(东南角)、鱼(西南角)、蟹(西北角)和虾(东北角)图案(图4)。钦安殿内供奉有真武大帝铜象[1],又称玄武,即水神。因此,基座上刻有这些“虾兵蟹将”也就顺理成章了。

The four corners of the marble base have turtle (southeast) , fish (southwest) , crab (northwest) and shrimp (northeast) patterns (figure 4). In the Hall of Imperial Peace, there is a bronze statue of Zhenwudadi (真武大帝), also known as Xuanwu, the God of water [1]. Therefore, the base engraved with these “shrimp soldiers and crab generals” is a matter of course.

图4 石刻纹细瞅(figure 4 – detail of relief work, 2019)

“幡杆夹中原立有木制幡杆,高出紫禁城(图5,6)。若在北海白塔上向东南而望,唯有此杆挑出黄瓦绿荫,成为御花园明显的标志。[2]”

“Originally, the stone pedestal held a wooden pole that rose above the Forbidden City. If you look southeast from the White Pagoda(白塔) of Beihai Park(北海公园), only this pole was picked out from the yellow tiles and green shades, and becoming a visible symbol of the Imperial Garden(御花园)[2].”

图5 故宫鸟瞰(figure 5 – birds-eye view of the Forbidden City, 1901)[3]
图6 幡杆(figure 6 – flagpole,1920s)[3]

从林京的照片中可以清晰地看见矗立的幡杆(图5,图6),照片分别拍摄于1901年和1920年代[3]。在甘博1918年从景山拍摄的照片点击查看 以及1924-1927从储秀宫内拍摄的照片中都可以看到高高的幡杆点击查看[4]。而莫里森1933-1946年的照片里则没有见到幡杆[5],点击查看。因此,我们可以得出结论,幡杆于1933-1946年之间消失了。至于幡杆被拿掉的原因和今保存在何处则不得而知。未查到相关资料。

From the photo of Lin Jing, you can clearly see the flagpole (figures 5, 6). The photos were taken in 1901 and 1920s [3]. High flagpole can also be seen in the photos taken by Gamble from Coal Hill (景山) in 1918 click to view and from the Palace of Gathered Elegance (储秀宫) in 1924-1927 click to view [4] . And Morrison’s 1933-1946 photo did not see the flagpole [5], click to view. Therefore, we can conclude that the flagpole disappeared between 1933 and 1946. It is not known why the flagpole was removed or where it is kept today. No relevant information was found.

图7 五龙捧圣旗杆施工旧影 [6]
(figure 7 – the scene of the construction site of the Five Dragons Holding the Flagpole”) [6]

在观靖的论文中还提供了一张题为五龙捧圣旗杆施工旧影的图片(图7),并注明摄于清末。不过从该照片中可以清楚地看到幡杆的基部已经腐朽。根据上述结论,这张照片记录的应该是1933-1946年之间拆除幡杆时的场面

In Guan Jing’s paper, also provides an old photo, captioned as “the scene of the construction site of the Five Dragons Holding the Flagpole”, and noted at the end of the Qing Dynasty. However, it is clear from the photo that the base of the flagpole has already decayed. Based on the above conclusions, this photo should show the removal of the flagpole between 1933 and 1946.

下面这张照片翻拍自单霁翔的影集《故宫藏影——西洋镜里的皇家建筑》[7],为甘博(Sidney D. Gamble )在1924-1927年间所摄:553A_3205)。从中可以看到幡杆的更多细节。

This photo below is from Shan Jixiang’s photo album Hidden Shadows in the Forbidden City: Imperial Architecture in the Shot of Foreigners. [7]. The original photograph was taken by Sidney D. Gamble between 1924-1927, photo ID:553A_3205. Details of the flagpole can be seen in this photo.

幡杆细节 (Details of the flagpole, 1924-1927) [7]

注释(notes):
[1]王子林:钦安殿之谜,紫禁城 2014年03期
[2]言庑、李全庆:钦安殿前旛杆颊石雕,紫禁城 1984年02期
[3]林京:北京城百年影像记,故宫出版社,2016年
[4][306-1751 and 553-3205], Sidney D. Gamble Photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
[5] [W86461-1] , Hedda Morrison Photographs, Harvard University, Harvard College Library Harvard-Yenching Library
[6] 观靖,诚祈应感钦安殿道场,紫禁城,2015年05期
[7]单霁翔:《故宫藏影——西洋镜里的皇家建筑》,2014,故宫出版社

如意门匾额 plaque above Ruyi gate

如意门为养心殿后围墙西侧的随墙小门,前往西六宫的要道。仰望匾额发呆,这么重要的一块匾额,几根铁丝就挂上了,这有违皇家规制!

Ruyi gate is a small door on the west side of the wall behind the Hall of Mental Cultivation (养心殿: Yang Xin Dian), which is on the way to the Six Western Palaces (西六宫). Staring up at the plaque, such an important piece of plaque was only hung there by a few rusty wires. It’s against royal regulations!

匾额 plaque
生锈的铁丝 rusty wires