An inscribed bronze hunch-backed figure

Ming dynasty or earlier

The figure is wearing long robes and a belt around his waist, his head resting below his shoulders and his hair tied in a knot. The hands are folded underneath the robes below his head and the face is rendered with a serious expression. A six-character inscription gu zhi xiang qin ren xin is incised on the figure’s back.

13 cm high, wood stand          



Formerly in the collection of Carl D. Barkman

Carl D. Barkman (1919-2006) was a Dutch sinologist and author. He joined the Netherlands foreign service in China in 1945, and later became Dutch ambassador in Korea and Japan.

This rare and unusual figure of a hunchbacked scholar would have been suitable for placing atop a scholar’s desk. The inscription may be translated as “The Fragrance of Antiquity Penetrates a Man’s Heart”, which reflects the scholar’s respect for the past. This is further emphasized by the archaic-style script.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.