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

故宫铺首衔环Pu Shou—the beast-faced door knocker with ring pull

“铺首”一词最早出现在汉代,《汉书.卷十一.哀帝纪》:「孝元庙殿门铜龟蛇铺首鸣。 [1]。何谓铺首,据王效青《中国古建筑术语辞典》:“铺首即门扇上的拉手饰件。因以兽首铺设之,故名。[2]”

图1 永寿门铺首
Figure 1 Pu Shou, the Gate of Yongshou Palace

The word “Pu Shou” first appeared in the Han Dynasty, in memory of Emperor Ai, the history of Han Dynasty (汉书), volume 11: “the bronze tortoises, snakes and the beast-faced door knockers at the entrance of the Xiaoyuan Temple wailed in mourning together [1].” What is a Pu Shou? According to Wang Xiaoqing, “Chinese Ancient Architectural Terminology Dictionary”: Pu Shou is a decorative handle pull on the door. It is named because it was laid in the shape of a beast’s head [2].”

图2 菽园杂记
Figure 2 Notes on the Shu Garden

椒图是古代中国神话传说中龙生第九子。椒图造型的铺首最早出现于元末明初[1]。“椒图其形似螺蛳,性好闭口,故立于门上[3],见图2。“

Jiao Tu is the ninth son of the dragon in ancient Chinese myths and legends. The Jiao Tu door knocker first appeared in the late yuan and early Ming Dynasty [1]. “The shape of the Jiao Tu looks like a snail, which nature is to keep its mouth shut, so it stands on the door [3], see Figure 2.”

图1为永寿门上的铺首衔环。其椒图脸谱更像具有螺蛳特征的狮面:鼻头扁平宽大,呈三瓣状;眼睛突出似狮子,螺蛳状的眉毛似火焰,又似蜷曲的狮子毛旋;两只犄角呈“U”形,其间具有圆盖状结构。查遍资料,未见提及。

The figure 1 shows a Pu Shou with its ring pull. Its Jiao Tu’s appearance is more like the face of a lion with the characteristics of a snail: its nose triple-lobed, flat and wide; eyes prominent like those of a lion; snail-shell shaped eyebrows look like flames, or the distorted lion’s hair; horns U-shaped. There is a round lid-like structure between two horns. What is this, no relevant information was found.

汉代铺首多具“山”形纹(图3,自阳桂平《论中国古代铺首》)。该纹是从远古巫师或神人佩戴的山形高冠抽象化而来[1][4]。反观永寿门铺首衔环,其额部双犄角与中间“圆盖”和上方的箭头结构正好呈现“山”形纹。看来铺首的演变传承还是有迹可循的。至于“圆盖”结构的寓意,推测为螺蛳壳口的厣,或叫壳盖。仔细观察图1,可见“圆盖”结构前部有凹纹,好似河蚌或螺蛳壳口开合的状态。此说法未见有文字资料支持,仅为个人“戏说”推测而已。

图3 汉代铺首
Figure 3 A Pu Shou of Han Dynasty

The Pu Shou of Han Dynasty usually has a “山” pattern (Figure 3, after Yang Guiping, On the ancient Chinese Pu Shou). This pattern is derived from the abstraction of the 山-shaped tall crown worn by ancient wizards[1] [4]. Let’s look at the Pu Shou of the Gate of Yongshou Palace again, the two horns and the central “round lid” structure plus an arrow above it form a “山”-shaped pattern. It seems that the evolution of the Pu Shou is traceable. As for the meaning of the “round lid” structure, it is presumed to be the operculum of the snail shell, or called the shell lid. If you look closely at Figure 1, you can find a concave pattern at the front of the “round lid” structure, like a half-opening operculum. This view has not been supported by written materials, only for personal “joking” speculation.

注释notes
[1]阳桂平《论中国古代铺首》,南京艺术学院硕士论文,2015
[2]王效青《中国古建筑术语辞典》,山西人民出版社,1996
[3]陆容《菽园杂记》,明朝
[4]孙长初《汉画像石“铺首衔环”图像解析》,南京艺术学院学报,2006(3)

永和宫之翠玉白菜The jadeite cabbage of Yonghe Palace

永和宫位于东六宫,光绪大婚后为瑾妃居所,直至她于1924年9月24日去世止[1]。说起永和宫和瑾妃,少不了要提及翠玉白菜,台北故宫三宝之一。据说翠玉白菜为瑾妃的嫁妆,查遍资料,全无证据佐证。惟有清室善后委员会1925年发布的《故宫物品点查报告》证实翠玉白菜曾存在于永和宫屋内玉壶中而已[2]。台北国立故宫博物院展品说明称翠玉白菜发现时种在“海棠花形小琺瑯盆里“[3]

The Yonghe Palace is located in the east six palaces. After Guangxu’s wedding, it has been the residence of the Imperial Concubine Jin until her death on September 24,1924 [1]. When people talk about the Yonghe Palace and the Imperial Concubine Jin, it is necessary to mention the jadeite cabbage, one of the three treasures of the National Palace Museum in Taipei. It is said that the jadeite cabbage was a part of dowry of the Imperial Concubine Jin, unfortunately, there is no evidence to support it. Only “the Palace items auditing report” issued by the Caretaker Committee of the Qing Dynasty Imperial Family in 1925 confirmed that the jadeite cabbage had existed in a jade pot in the Yonghe Palace [2]. However, according to the introduction of the exhibits of the National Palace Museum in Taipei said that the jadeite cabbage was found “in a Begonia flower shaped enamel pot” [3].

翠玉白菜 (Jadeite Cabbage)
图片源自台北国立故宫博物院(image source: National Palace Museum, Taipei)
《故宫物品点查报告》
The Palace items auditing report

[1]故宫官网永和宫条:点击查看
[2]清室善后委员会,故宫物品点查报告(故宫丛刊之一),第二编第三册,第20页,1925年
[3]台北国立故宫博物院翡翠白菜说明介绍:点击查看

石雕与石刻纹 Stone carving sculpture and patterns

太和殿三台圭脚如意云纹
The Forbidden City: Detail of marble terrace of the Hall of Supreme Harmony (太和殿), showing a pattern of auspicious cloud at the base corner.
钦安殿须弥座束腰椀花结带式纹(明初期),椀花头部出三瓣,飘带后尾剪刀状。
Detail of the narrow dado (束腰) of the xumizuo or shu-mi-tso base (须弥座) showing a ribbon wrapped, bowl-shaped flower pattern with three-petal flower head and scissor-like ribbon tail (Early Ming Dynasty), the Hall of Imperial Peace(钦安殿)
元代断虹桥劵脸之吸水兽
An absorbent beast on the Duanhong Bridge built in Yuan Dynasty
文渊阁石桥劵脸之吸水兽,建于清乾隆四十一年(1776年)。与断虹桥之吸水兽相比,其刻工要粗糙许多。
The Forbidden City: An absorbent beast on the Bridge of the Belvedere of Literary Profundity (文渊阁) made in 1776,the forty-first year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong, the Qing Dynasty. Compared with the one on the Duanhong Bridge, its engraving was much rougher

故宫的梁架结构 The wood beam and frame constructions of the Forbidden City

储秀宫雀替,清光绪十年(1884年)制
Carved wood bracket (雀替, literally in Chinese: sparrow brace) of the Palace of Gathered Elegance (储秀宫) , built in the tenth year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu, Qing dynasty (1884)
宁寿宫镂空云龙绦环板和云龙雀替(清乾隆)
Details of the Taohuan panel boards and wood brackets
with carved dragon and cloud patterns, built in the years of the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty
养心殿抱厦隔架科,摄于2014年
The Ge-Jia-Ke Bracket Sets(隔架科) on the annexed veranda of the Hall of Mental Cultivation(养心殿)2014

文华殿院内的铜缸座Stone bases of the bronze vats in the courtyard of the Hall of Literary Brilliance

文华殿东、西两侧的本仁殿和集义殿北侧各存有两个铜缸底座。由于罕见的青砖漫地基台,起先被我误认为是枯井,多亏网友“不得不犯狗”指点。文华殿的铜缸何时被移走的,让我联想到了1944年的日军献铜献铁运动。当时为应对此事,故宫博物院对院内铜缸进行了清点,造册,共277件,包括:1类:明清两代所造有款识者98件;2类:虽无款识,但察铜色类似明代造者125件;3类:无款识,查其式样不能断明年代者54件。最终于1944年6月19日将3类无款识的54件铜缸交予了日军[1]。至于文华殿的铜缸是否属于这54件无款识铜缸之列,查看当时的清点造册即可。还有一个疑问有待考证,现在公认说法,故宫有大小水缸308口,与1944年的探察数据277有31件的差异。

本仁殿北侧缸座
Bronze stone bases, the north side of Benren Hall
本仁殿北侧 缸座近瞅
A close look at the bronze stone bases, the north side of Benren Hall

In the north sides of Jiyi Hall (集义殿)and Benren Hall(本仁殿), there are two stone bases of bronze vats separately. At first I mistook them for dry wells because of the rare grey-brick plinth, thanks to the advice of a Weibo friend. When the bronze vats were removed, I am reminded of the Japanese dedication of copper and iron campaign in 1944. In response to the incident, the The Palace Museum conducted an inventory of 277 bronze vats in the Forbidden City. It includes: type 1: 98 pieces of bronze vats with Ming and Qing Dynasty manufacture signature mark; type 2: 125 pieces of bronze color similar to those made in the Ming Dynasty but without manufacture signature mark; type 3: 54 pieces of no identification and the style can not be judged to belong to the Ming Dynasty. Finally, on June 19, 1944, the Palace Museum handed over 54 bronze vats belonging to the third category of no identification to the Japanese army [1]. As to whether these lost copper vats were included in the list of 54 unidentifiable copper vats, a check of the inventory at that time will make it clear. Another question remains to be answered. It is now generally accepted that there are 308 bronze vats in the Forbidden City, 31 of which are different from the 277 counted in 1944.

集义殿北侧缸座
Bronze stone bases, the north side of Jiyi Hall
上缴铜缸 [2]
Hand over bronze vats, 1944
上缴铜缸 [2]
Hand over bronze vats, 1944

PS: 网友不得不犯狗提及,1944年文华殿仍归古物陈列所管辖。
A Weibo friend mentioned that in 1944, the Hall of Literary Brilliance was still under the jurisdiction of the National Museum of Art, Peiping.

注释note:
[1]黄金:沦陷前后张庭济与“奉命维持”的 北平故宫博物院事业,《故宫博物院院刊》,2014年05期
[2]孙岩:人非物是,八年沦陷的故宫博物院,《紫禁城》,2005年05期

坤宁宫祖宗杆子之考 Researches on the ancestral post outside the Kun Ning Palace

祖宗杆子位于坤宁宫东南侧,即交泰殿东北角处。故宫博物院藏品总目编号为:故00204055,标注为满洲祭天神杆。现仅存神杆的基座。

The ancestral pole is located at the southeast side of the Kunning Palace, which is the northeast corner of the Hall of Union. The catalog number is No. 00204055, and is recorded as a Manchurian pole for offering sacrifices to the gods. Now only the pedestal of the sacred pole exists.

图1:祖宗杆子基座远视
Figure 1: Look at the ancestral pole pedestal from a distance, 2016
图2:祖宗杆子石基座
Figure 2: The ancestral pole pedestal, 2016
图3: 祖宗杆子近瞅
Figure 3: A close look at the ancestral pole pedestal, 2016
图4: 故宫藏品总目编号
Figure 4: the catalog number of the Palace Museum Collection, 2016
图5: 故宫藏品总目编号截屏
Figure 5: the screen shot of the catalog number

神杆满语称“索罗”,又有索罗神杆之说。杆子长啥样,请看图6。至于神杆用于祭祖,还是祭神,争论不断[3]。

The sacred pole is called “Soluo” in Manchu, and there is also the saying of Soluo’s sacred pole. The shape of the pole is shown in figure 6. The debate continues as to whether the sacred pole should be used for ancestor worship or for offering sacrifices to the gods [2].

图6: 坤宁宫外祖宗竿子(原照片说明)
Figure 6: The ancestral post outside the Kun Ning Palace, 1924 (original caption) [1]

宫外神竿,又名“祖宗竿子”,满俗于祭天时,于竿东北放案,陈颈骨胆脍米等,祭后献颈骨于竿端,置胆脍米于碗内,然后帝后受胙。[2]

The sacred pole outside the palace, also known as the Ancestral Pole. According to the Manchu custom, when offering sacrifices to heaven, the altar table is placed in the northeast of the sacred pole. On the altar were neck bones, gall bladders, shredded meat and rice. When the sacrifice is over, place the neck bone at the top of the pole, the gallbladder, shredded pork and rice into a bowl, and then the emperor and Queen prayed for blessings. [2]

坤宁宫于清朝依满族风格分别在顺治十二年(1655)、康熙十九年(1680)和嘉庆三年(1798)进行过三次改建与修缮[4],至于神杆于何年开始在坤宁宫竖立,未见记载。不过从1900-1925的照片(图6-图9)中可见祖宗杆子。而1982年的照片中已不见了杆子的踪影。祖宗神杆竖立与除去的具体年代还有待考证。

In Qing Dynasty, the Kun Ning Palace was rebuilt and renovated three times according to the Manchu style in Shunzhi 12th year (1655) , Kangxi 19th year (1680) and Jiaqing 3rd year (1798) [4]. As for when the sacred pole began to erect in the Palace, there is no record found. However, the ancestral poles can be seen from the photos of 1900-1925 (Fig. 6-Fig. 9). The pole is missing from the 1982 photo. The specific age of erecting and removing the ancestral sacred pole remains to be verified.

图7: 祖宗杆子
Figure 7: The ancestral post, 1922 [5]
图8:交泰殿
Figure 8: The Hall of Union,the beginning of the 20th century [6]
图9:交泰殿与坤宁宫
Figure 9: The Hall of Union and Kun Ning Palace, 1900 [6]
交泰殿与坤宁宫
Figure 10: The Hall of Union and Kun Ning Palace, 1982 [7]

据四库全书记载,神杆取自延庆县之松木。[8]点击见详

According to the Sikuquanshu, the sacred pole was taken from the pine trees of Yanqing District. Click to view details.

注释(notes):
[1]故宫丛刊之三 故宫摄影集 第一编第二册 交泰殿坤宁宫 清室善后委员会 30页
[2]国立北平清室善后委员会:《故宫图说》第一编中路及内东路,1924,10页
[3]张杰:清代满族萨满教祭祀神杆新考,社会科学辑刊,2003年05期
[4]宋文:坤宁宫萨满祭祀特点考析,故宫博物院院刊,2017年04期
[5]单霁翔:故宫藏影,故宫出版社,2018年
[6]林京:北京城百年影像记,故宫出版社,2016年
[7]杨伯达 翁万戈:故宫博物院藏品选,1982
[8]四库全书卷3:《钦定满洲祭神祭天典礼》

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