Pair of Carved Shells

Step 15 of 17

The moon gate

Shaping Outsides and Footrims of Bowls 1770-1790 - Victoria and Albert Museum - E.47-1910

Two men seated on ceramic stools are depicted in conversation with each other alongside another pair of men carrying fruit, and two figures walking behind a fence. Like the women on the other shell, these men sit next to a large circular wall opening that is called moon gate, and is typical of Chinese architecture. Like the moon gate on the other shell, this one is partly veiled by a curtain that is depicted according to the painting conventions of Guangzhou export imagery.

A comparable scene of two men in conversation can be found on the other shell...