Topel and Cheng Art Collection

Hanging Scrolls

(Spring, Xuexi) scroll with writing on left, peonies at bottom, two white-headed birds perched at top

Spring

Cai Xuexi (Taiwan, born 1893)
1924
Ink, paint, and paper
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.

(Summer, Xuexi) scroll with egrets, tall plants with umbrella-like leaves

Summer

Cai Xuexi (Taiwan, born 1893)
1924
Ink, paint, and paper
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.

 

pine tree in front of house, mountain and waterfall in background

Hanging Scroll

Chu-Chao Liu (China)
1990
Ink, paint, and paper
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.
Translation:
Secluded living in a remote valley
A painting for Professor Jay-lin Jane-Topel by Chu-Chao Liu

shoreline with pine trees and fog, mountains in back

Hanging Scroll

Chu-Chao Liu (China)
1990
Ink, paint, and paper
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.
Translation:
Secluded living in a remote valley
A painting for Professor Jay-lin Jane-Topel by Chu-Chao Liu

waterfall, stream at bottom, three pine trees

Hanging Scroll

Chu-Chao Liu (China)
1990
Ink, paint, and paper
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.
Translation:
Clouds emerge from green trees.
Flying water-falls pound the mountain.
Green leaves cover the flow of the river.
Clouds move around the mountain
A gift to Jay-lin Jane-Topel from Uncle Shu-Yen Cheng

three tiers of mountains

Hanging Scroll

Chu-Chao Liu (China)
1990
Ink, paint, and paper
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.
Translation:
Clouds mixed with rain on the top of the green mountain
Stacks of powerful water-falls flow into a crystal clear river

(Autumn, Xuexi) chrysanthemums with two dark birds

Autumn

Cai Xuexi (Taiwan, born 1893)
1924
Ink, paint, and paper
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.

(Winter, Xuexi) bare twiggy branches

Winter

Cai Xuexi (Taiwan, born 1893)
1924
Ink, paint, and paper
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.

Carved Objects

1 - Cup and Lid, ornately carved, asymmetrical cup and lid

1 - Cup and Lid

China
20th century
Nephrite
Gift of Ann and Henry Brunnier. In the Ann and Henry Brunnier Collection, Brunnier Art Museum,
University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

2 - Cup with Stand - white, almost translucent, carved

2 - Cup with Stand

China
19th century
Jadeite, wood
Gift of Ann and Henry Brunnier. In the Ann and Henry Brunnier Collection, Brunnier Art Museum,
University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

3 - Vase with Stand - white, vase with two almost free-standing parts

3 - Vase with Stand

China
20th century
Jadeite, wood
Gift of Ann and Henry Brunnier. In the Ann and Henry Brunnier Collection, Brunnier Art Museum,
University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

4- Seal with Two Water Buffalo - salmon-colored and white, water buffalo on top of tall rectangular block

4 - Seal with Two Water Buffalo

China
20th century
Shoushan stone
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.

5 - Brushwasher or Vessel - pale, horizontal, carvings of  branches and blossoms

5 - Brushwasher or Vessel

China
n.d.
Nephrite
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.
Jade was perfectly suited to the creation of objects used by the scholarly elite in China. Scholars spent much of their time alone and in deep contemplation of their creative endeavors and the lustrous texture of jade was an ideal accompaniment to their lifestyle. Many of the objects were functional, but also small enough to be held and touched while in thought. Jade was used for brush holders, table screens, sculptures such as mountains, and brushwashers. The brushwashers often depicted naturalistic elements such as birds and flowers.
Smaller scale jade implements for the scholar's table included inkstones, brush rests, paperweights, and small jade pebbles or animals.
The plum blossom is a symbol of perseverance and purity, as the blossoms appear in the midst of the cold winter and heralds the coming of spring. The five petals signify the "five blessings": long life, wealth, health, love of virtue, and natural death.

6 - Paperweight with Fu Dogs - Fu Dog is looking back, atop tall column

6 - Paperweight with Fu Dogs (Lion Dogs)

China
20th century
Jade
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.

7 - Teapot with Dragon - Pale color with reddish arc, dark top

7 - Teapot with Dragon

China
20th century
Shoushan stone
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.

8 - Bowl with Gilded Rim - blue-green malachite, vrey shallow bowl with gilded rim

8 - Bowl with Gilded Rim

China
20th century
Malachite
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.

9 - Bowl - deep coral color, ruffled edge

9 - Bowl

China
20th century
Agate
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.

10 - Teapot - mottled olive green, flattish shape

10 - Teapot

China
20th century
Jade
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.
During the Ming and Qing Dynasties there began to be much more use of jade vessels than there had been in the past. With new sources found, especially during the Qing Dynasty, there was much more jade readily available to all levels of society, although the pure pale nephrite may have still been relegated to the elite classes. The Ming had also brought new thoughts on the use of material possessions as many more objects were created and available to the new and growing classes of consumers. Jade vessels were now visual signifiers of rank and wealth.

11- Box in the Shape of a double gourd - horizontal, vine covered, pale color, on wooden stand

11 - Box in the Shape of a Double Gourd on Stand

China
early 20th century
Nephrite, wood
Gift of Ann and Henry Brunnier. In the Ann and Henry Brunnier Collection, Brunnier Art Museum,
University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
6.2.13abc
During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), China experienced internal political stability complemented by extensive trade with Europe. During this time, the arts of China prospered and jade carving ascended to the new and higher standards set by intelligent and cultured emperors. Artists were granted access to the finest-quality jade and encouraged to utilize their personal creativity to produce unique objects rather than imitations of ancient forms. Elaborate decorative objects featured intense details carved completely from a solid piece of jade in a remarkable display of technical skill.
The multicolored nephrite box is an admirable example of innovative stone-carving techniques and design. Its curvaceous form is accented by an elaborate tangle of vines and smaller gourds ingeniously arranged into a hinge, connecting the lib and box. Two bats protect the character shou, a symbol of longevity. This combination of gourds, bats, and the character expresses the wish for numerous male progeny and long life.
- Information adapted from University Museums Collections Handbook, 2000.

12 - Bowl in the Mughal style - concentric ridged rings, two flower-shaped handles

12 - Bowl in the Mughal style

China
19th century
Nephrite, wood
Gift of Ann and Henry Brunnier. In the Ann and Henry Brunnier Collection, Brunnier Art Museum,
University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
6.2.3ab
The Mughals were rulers in northern India from 1526-1857. They were originally from Central Asia and had developed a deep love of jade. Mughal style works were characterized by their extreme thin-walled delicacy, often incorporating floral motifs, and adorned with inlays of gold and gems. This bowl represents the Indian influence that began to be found in China during the 18th century.
It is in the shape of a blooming chrysanthemum, with several flowers arranged to create the two handles. Because the chrysanthemum symbolizes pleasant and long life, this object possibly is a marriage bowl. The bowl has been carved with exceptional thinness, making the stone translucent.
- Information adapted from University Museums Collections Handbook, 2000.

13 - Covered vessel - pale yellowish color, tall

13 - Covered Vessel

China
20th century
Nephrite
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.
Pictorial imagery began appearing on jade objects during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) when jade carvers began to treat the surface like that of a painting. Jades were much more portable or easily displayed than large scale paintings or prints, making the use of pictorial imagery on jade very desirable.

14 - Bi Disc with stand - whitish, flat with carvings, on carved wooden stand

14 - Bi Disc with Stand

China
early 20th century
Jadeite, wood
Gift of Ann and Henry Brunnier. In the Ann and Henry Brunnier Collection, Brunnier Art Museum,
University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
6.2.34ab
A primary use for jade in the Chinese culture has been for ceremonial or ritualistic objects, many of which have endured into the present. One such form is the ancient bi, which can be traced back to the Neolithic era, beginning around 10,000 BC. In its most simplistic and traditional form, the bi is a flat disc, blue-green in color, with a hole in the center, which came to symbolize heaven. At burials, it became customary to place the bi under the body.
This ceremonial bi is a later interpretation of the ancient form, adorned with nine dragons, referencing the imperial household. The larger dragon in the center symbolizes the emperor, while the eight smaller dragons are sometimes referred to as child dragons.
- Information adapted from University Museums Collections Handbook, 2000.

15 - Elephant vessel - pale color - large, flat sided, styled body, with small head and trunk

15 - Elephant Vessel

China
20th century
Jade or shoushan stone
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.
The interest in archaistic forms, or taking inspiration from the ancient past, began before the Song Dynasty, but this was when it became an important stylistic trend and reached its apex during the Qing Dynasty. Rather than slavishly copying ancient forms, jade artisans chose various design motifs and forms from antiquity, often from ancient bronzes, and combined those to create a comptelely new object that evoked the great history of their ancient ancestors.

16 - Small Animal - pale color, crouching, large raised head, small ears

16 - Small Animal

China
n.d.
Nephrite
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.
The function of jade animals continues to be somewhat unknown. They were first created during the Neolithic period and two-dimensional representations from the Shang Dynasty are well known. Many of the animals carved in jade are smaller in size or pendants, leading some to believe that they were personal ornaments or "handling" pieces, which was a modern use for small jade objects of this type. The most prolific objects made in the form of a jade animal were toggles and pendants. These would be placed close to the body and perhaps the wearer believed the favorable qualities of the animal would be passed along. Early jade animals were often fantastic creations and were most likely meant to be seen as powerful and protective beings. Around the Song Dynasty artisans began to depict the everyday animals seen in real life.

17 - Pendant Plaque, Woman - orangish color, woman is something with a handle, surrounded by wavy forms

17 - Pendant Plaque with Woman

China
n.d.
Jade
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.
The use of jade in the creation of jewelry began to be fully explored in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Jade, especially jadeite, has a wonderful feel and gem-like quality because of its ability to take a very high polish and detailed cutting. In the Qing Dynasty, the West would come to consider jade much more as a material for personal adornment.
Small plaques were first developed in the Ming Dynasty. During the Qing Dynasty, these small pendants became extremely popular and took their decoration directly from woodblock prints with calligraphy on the reverse.

18 - Plaque with Deer and Bird - whitish color, openwork carving

18 - Plaque with Deer and Bird

China
n.d.
Nephrite
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.
By the Ming and Qing dynasties the best known form of jade personal ornament was the belt with jade plaques. In earlier periods the use of jade belt plaques had been restricted to certain ranks of society, but those were ignored by this time and many officials and citizens wore belts of this type.
Small pictorial plaques that depicted auspicious symbols developed slowly from the Tang Dynasty belt plaques. The deer is considered auspicious and represents longevity and immortality, while the stars on the body may refer to the heavens.

19 - Openwork Round Plaque - whitish color, openwork carving of birds and branches

19 - Openwork Round Plaque

China
20th century
Nephrite
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.
The Qing Dynasty also saw the continued use of flat sheets of jade, which were delicately carved all the way through to create complex and delicate openwork patterns most often depicting natural motifs.

20 - Yi Water Vessel, white body, dark brown carved lid, coral-colored knob on lid

20 - Yi Water Vessel

China
17th -18th century
Nephrite, wood, and coral
Gift of Ann and Henry Brunnier. In the Ann and Henry Brunnier Collection, Brunnier Art Museum,
University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
6.2.25ab

21 - Incense Burner - pale green, tiered, rings in handles

21 - Incense Burner

China
20th century
probably Lantian Jade
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.
Loose rings became popular decorative elements early in the Qing Dynasty and were used to display the great skill of the jade carver.

22 - Vase with lid, deep blue and white, carved lid, handles with loose rings

22 - Vase with Lid

China
20th century
Lapis lazuli
Gift of Ann and Henry Brunnier. In the Ann and Henry Brunnier Collection, Brunnier Art Museum,
University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
6.2.33ab

23 - Vessel with Three Fu Dogs - yellowish color, one dog sitting on top of jar, other dogs facing

23 - Vessel with Three Fu Dogs (Lion Dogs)

China
20th century
Jade and unknown material
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.

24 - Monk - kneeling, looking up, holding vessel in outstretched hands

24 - Monk

China
20th century
Shoushan stone
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.

25 - Sculpture with Fruit and Corn - salmon and yellow colors, flattish shape, many pieces of fruit, corn

25 - Sculpture with Fruit and Corn

China
20th century
Shoushan stone
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.
Shoushan stone is another type of mineral found in the Fujian province of China, named for the Shoushan village where it was found. It has been used to create artistic carvings and seals since the Northern and Southern Dynasty (386-589), about 1500 years ago. It would not truly be considered an art form until the Song Dynasty (960-1127), when it would gain in popularity. The most important characteristic of the stone is the multi-hued coloration that is a natural occurrence, but it is also very conducive to carving. It was during the Ming and Qing dynasties when the carving of shoushan stone flourished and began to be used to make the seals that were important parts of the scholar's work and used to mark their documents and calligraphy.
The carving of shoushan stone is primarily focused on utilizing and enhancing the natural beauty of the stone and is dependent upon the coloration, texture or grain, and shape. The beautiful gradation of colors is always taken into account when carving as the artist works to create a harmonious sculpture.

26 - Sculpture with Fish and Coral - several fish swimming among coral, yellowish salmon color

26 - Sculpture with Fish and Coral

China
20th century
Shoushan stone
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.

27 - Mountain Cave with Fisherman - pale color - rounded shapes, with cave near bottom

27 - Mountain Cave with Fisherman

China
20th century
Shoushan stone
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.
The fisherman was considered one of the four noble professions and he was usually shown in a boat with a carp caught on his line, which connoted "a fisherman reaping profit"..

28 - Cabbage - pale yellowish green upright curving head of napa cabbage on stand

28 - Cabbage

China
20th century
probably Shan jade
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng.

28 - Cabbage - pale green napa cabbage lying on its side

29 - Cabbage

China
20th century
probably Lantian Jade
Promised gift of Drs. Jay-Lin Jane Topel and David Topel and
Mr. and Mrs. Tung-Hsiang and Chih-Fei Cheng. 鄈ⷙ