Vivian Wang

Golden Boy

Cast glass, stoneware, gemstones, gold leaf, steel base, 21"h x 16"w x 16"d (including base), Item No. 17866,

“Golden Boy” depicts the 8-year-old Chinese Emperor Duanzong of the Song Dynasty, also known as Zhao Shi. Born in 1269, he occupied the throne during the Mongolian wars. 

He is shown wearing a classic Chinese young boy’s hair style of many small buns. His tunic, with its “bib” bodice and heavy gold belt, show the influence of Mongolian style clothing. 

After the fall of the Song capital in 1276 to the Mongols, he and his brother escaped to Fujian Province, where they established a new capital. But in 1278, the Mongols entered Fujian and he was again forced to flee. While escaping from the Mongols, Emperor Duanzong fell from his ship during a hurricane. He was rescued from the sea but, sadly, he died soon after of an illness in what is now known as Hong Kong.

He was succeeded on the throne by his seventh brother, Zhao Bing, who was the last emperor of the Song Dynasty. The Mongolians then took control of all of China and created the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368).