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Imperial Packing Art of the Qing Dynasty


Chinese packing has long history and evolved a culture of its own with unique oriental charm. From the simple cord packing of the remote antiquity to the luxurious packing used by the imperial family, packing continuously developed and progressed in the aspects of materials, methods and thoughts and experienced the development processes from simplicity to complexity and from naivety to maturity. The Qing dynasty inherited the packing tradition of past ages, invented colorful packing arts and mainly formed imperial and folk packing systems. In the Qianlong period, the imperial packing won unprecedented development. As the organization in charge of its design and production, the imperial workshops "gathered quality materials under heaven and assembled skilled craftsmen of the for seas." The imperial packing not only stressed its practical function in protection but also emphasized artistic innovation. Celebrated for its choice materials, superb craftsmanship and costly outlay, it pursued artistic taste, implication and philosophy. In shape and decoration design, it manifested the supreme authority and magnificent manner of the imperial family. The Qing imperial packing displayed the tastes, aspiration and preference in imperial life, thus occupying a significant position in Chinese packing history.

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