Tin frogs, rolling iron rings, playing marbles, picking game sticks… This is a toy for “post-80s” children; Tetris, Rubik’s Cube, Transformers… This is a toy for “post-90s” children. Tangrams, nine links, Luban locks… And these traditional toys, today’s “post-10s” children will play with it, thousands of years ago the ancients will also play with it.
September 17 is the first day of the 23rd Shanghai Tourism Festival, the annual exhibition of Shanghai Guanfu Museum
“Wisdom and Fun – Ancient Chinese Toys Exhibition”
It will be officially opened on the 37th floor of the Shanghai Tower and will last for one year. The exhibition gathers nearly 100 ancient Chinese toys, dating back to the Han and Tang Dynasties and the Republic of China, showing both “pediatrics” and “great wisdom”, and uncovering the secrets of “childhood playmates” spanning thousands of years.
Toys are the product of human pastime in the leisure of production and life. Ancient Chinese toys have a long history, with the change of the times, have been circulating and developing among the people, creating distinctive national characteristics in various regions of China, with the main purpose of edutainment, edutainment, and entertainment.
The toys of the ancients in this exhibition in the past hundred years are divided into:
Seasonal classes, chess, ornamental classes, puzzle classes
It was exhibited with five themes: “toys in cultivation”, “toys of literati”, “toys in growth”, “toys in tea and wine” and “toys in cultural relics”.
Through these toys, the audience can understand that the ancients did not just “turn a blind eye to the outside of the window, but only read the books of the sages”, but also pursued the same
Puzzle, fun, self-cultivation
。 For example, toys such as tangrams, nine links, and Luban locks are representatives of ancient Chinese toys combining intellectual games and classical mathematics, and Westerners call them “Chinese problems”, which involve geometry, topology, graph theory, operations research and other disciplines in mathematics. Chinese chess, backgammon, Go and other game games not only contain the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang, but also have the nature of military confrontation. Chinese traditional etiquette and banquet game pitching pot, born in the pre-Qin period and continued until the end of the Qing Dynasty, Wen Yile guests, martial arts and etiquette, both simple and easy to operate and civilized and elegant, has become an important reason for its long-term prosperity.
Huanghuali boxed Huanghuali tangram
The tangram, which can be transformed into thousands of patterns, evolved from a furniture called Yanji in the Song Dynasty. Yanji is seven small tables that can be put together into a large table to add interest, and there were butterfly tables and qiqiao tables in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. A tangram is a thin square plate cut into seven pieces that can be combined into a variety of figures. The Qing Dynasty has become very popular, and there are many kinds of materials.
This set of Qing Dynasty boxed tangrams, box and board set, very rare. The box and board are made of yellow pear, which is especially precious because of its slow growth, solid wood and beautiful pattern.
Iron nine links
Nine links are a traditional Chinese intellectual toy that is passed down among the people. It is made of wire 9 rings, the rings are set on horizontal plates or various frames, and the ring handle is threaded. Repeated operation according to a certain procedure can untie the 9 rings separately, and untie or combine the two into one to win.
In Europe in the 16th century, there were already nine consecutive records. In 1550, mathematical literature published in Paris clearly discussed this “Chinese problem”. In the 19th century, Gross gave it a beautiful solution with binary numbers. For people, the nine links are not only a toy, but also a symbol of wisdom.
This Qing Dynasty iron nine links are in an interlocking state, preserved intact, I don’t know which ancients who wanted to challenge were stumped at that time?
Huanghuali spherical Luban lock pair
Luban lock, also known as Kong Ming lock, the specific origin time is currently unknown, also belongs to the historical educational toys, according to legend, Luban or Zhuge Liang invented. It is good for relaxation, brain development, and flexible fingers, and is a leisure toy for all ages.
The pair of Huanghuali Luban locks in the exhibition are spherical in shape, which can also be called Luban Ball and Kong Ming Ball, and the picture is one of them. Without nails or ropes, six semicircular pieces of wood are crossed and fixed together to form a round ball, which seems simple, but in fact, the mystery is endless, and if you don’t know the trick, it is not easy to disassemble and combine, and it takes a little training to complete. The color of yellow flower pear is calm, the color is bright, and it is completely preserved, which is very rare.
Rui beast pattern copper pitcher
Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty
Toys are not the patent of children, from ancient times to the present, Rui beast pattern copper pitching pot is representative. “Li Ji Pitcher” said: “The pot thrower, the master and the guest Yan drink talk about the gift of talent.” “Touju is a traditional Chinese ritual and banquet game that continued from the pre-Qin dynasty to the late Qing Dynasty. Ancient gentlemen needed to learn the six arts, namely: rites, music, shooting, royalty, writing, and counting. The game is to throw arrows into the pot, the most shots are the winner, and the loser drinks according to the prescribed number of cups.
This two-eared pitcher is engraved with “Qianlong Year” at the bottom. Both ears are decorated with double dragon play bead patterns, and the neck part is decorated with three layers of dragon patterns, banana leaf patterns, and river cliff patterns. Slender neck, drum abdominal circle foot, neck abdominal wall divided by string pattern, abdominal wall on all sides of the halberd, decorated dragons, fish, turtles, dogs, horses and other Swiss beasts, Rui beasts evenly arranged in the wave pattern of the vivid life. The whole copper pot is full of antiquity, generous, solemn and elegant.
Tao Zhu (pounding pills)
Isn’t this ball familiar? That’s right, this is ancient Chinese golf, or hockey – pounding pills.
The earliest account of the activities of pounding pills is found in the Maru Sutra, a work written by a person signed “Ning Zhizhai” from the 19th year of the Yuan dynasty to the 19th year of the yuan (1282). According to the account in the “Pill Sutra Collection” that “until Emperor Huizong of the Song Dynasty and Emperor Zhangzong of Jinzhang, they all loved pounding pills”, it can be seen that the lower limit of the formation period of pounding pills was in the seventh year of Zongxuanhe of the Northern Song Dynasty (1125).
The club used to pound the ball, commonly known as “stick”. Because the wooden clubs cannot withstand the passage of time, most of them have long decayed, so many of them are pounding pills made of bone, pottery, and porcelain.
Green Jade Dove Car
The toy car that children love to play with has existed in ancient times. The ancients called “dove car” means a car for children’s play.
The pigeons in the exhibition are green jade with a color color. Two large and one small spotted doves are very fully carved, the small dove is lying on the back of the big dove, and the tail feathers of the big dove are fan-like, which is a typical ornament of the Song Dynasty. The jade wheel of the pigeon cart is divided into six-petal flower leaves and can be rotated.
Tang Sancai Linglong Ball pair
Linglong ball is a special technique in Chinese carving. The surface of the sphere is engraved with various color patterns, and the ball is continuously set by several layers of hollow balls, staggered and overlapping, exquisite and transparent, each ball can rotate freely, and has the same center of the circle.
Tang Sancai Linglong Ball has a diameter of 5.1 cm and is brightly colored, and the outer set of balls is openwork carving, with built-in movable balls, which are taken from hydrangeas and can be used for play.
Source: Pudong release