In the olden days, Chinese royalty and literati would hang out in their magnificent gardens to sip tea and gaze at the full moon during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
If you aspire to live like an emperor, Shanghai Tang has just the thing for you. The brand has collaborated with home decor store Mooyee to present a limited-edition collection for the festivities.
Created by Mooyee founder Jeen Lee, the Shanghai Tang X Mooyee Limited Edition E P Collection is designed to revitalize the oriental traditions of tea drinking, incense burning and flower appreciation.
The incense burner and tea set (HK$3,380) and vase (HK$3,280) are decorated in a painterly Imperial Garden pattern.
The pattern is inspired by imperial gardens of old, which were built for emperors and their wives to relax and enjoy the scenery. Look closely and you will see emperors painting as young women serenade one another with the pipa and play on the swing set.
One playful detail is the Qianlong Emperor's leisure seal. When admiring calligraphy and paintings, the emperor would stamp his seal onto memorable spots of the artwork - in a simlar manner to people today pressing the "Like" button on their favorite social media posts. This whimsical touch injects a sense of humor into the work.
As with all Shanghai Tang designs, the collection is not just aesthetically pleasing but functional.
The tea set simplifies all of the tools needed to appreciate tea by combining a teapot, strainer, and cup together into one package. When not in use, it makes a beautiful ornament but when needed, the upper part can be inverted to strain the steeped tea leaves.
Inversion is also used for the incense burner to make it environmentally friendly.
A metal clip is used to fix the incense stick inside the wooden bottle cap to stand it upside down in the bottle, so that the particles generated are collected at the bottom when the smoke slowly rises.
Instead of the usual single opening, the vase has one on either end: a narrow mouth for minimalist ikebana-like blooms and a wider one for bigger Western-style arrangements. The double-sided hollow design segments the interior into two usable halves.
The porcelain is produced in Jingdezhen and handmade by craftsmen to fully demonstrate a respect for traditional methods. Each pattern consists of 15 layers of a multicolored decal paper applied through an time-honored process and embellished with real gold.