The scholar’s name was Li Shaojun. He lived during the Western Han
Dynasty… a period during which the creation of bronze artifacts fell
out of favor and the making of gold objects became a fully
independent art. This was in part due to Li Shaojun’s influence for
he proposed that the making of gold and silver wares would not only
lengthen one’s life… but it would also improve one’s health and
perhaps even bring one immortality.
This is for those who live in a perpetual void of utter
darkness always wondering… wondering… why the goldsmith came to
be. Heck folks… make a trinket… live another ten years. Do you
have any idea how many trinkets I have. I’m here to tell you I’m
racing the clock. Anyone want to join me at the foundry?
And so… as it were… there was once a mythological beast whose
job it was to guard various tombs. These creatures… known as
Tianlu… were usually deployed in pairs… for as everyone knows…
two Tianlus are always better than one. By the way… the word Tianlu
refers to the beast of the male gender. Should he be a female… she
would then be a Pixiu.
Our fierce little beastie has the face of a tiger… the body of a
lion… and the horns of a dragon. And of course… they had wings…
for they could quite often surely be seen flying overhead on some
Which brings us… through the incredibly elevated art of the
supreme segue… to the time of the Eastern Han Dynasty and the tomb
of Liu Chang… in which was found a filagreed gold Tianlu studded
with precious and semi-precious stones. It
was–parenthetically–during these same times that the alchemists of
the day used the gold melting ovens to produce pills of immortality.
Take two of these with a glass of water and don’t call me for a
thousand years or so.
The craftsmanship with which this little fellow was made is truly
quite striking… and I would urge each and every one of you to
immediately go out and get hold of one to put on your mantelpiece…
or altar… or wherever.
For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at www.tyler-adam.com where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Current Tidbits… and then click on it in order to view a Tianlu of
the Eastern Han Dynasty.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.