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Boxwood Ruyi Scepter in the Form of Flowering Peach Branches with Bats

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Period: mid Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Medium: boxwood, jade, ruby, gold and pearl
Date: undated
Dimensions: length: 49 cm

The décor of this extravagant ruyi scepter combines carving, incising, and inlays. The handle of the milk-chocolate colored boxwood is carved into interlocking branches which are as if naturally entwined. The head is inlaid with a pink tourmaline flower, jadeite leaves and white jade peaches. Most remarkable are the five gold bats resting among the branches. Their bodies are made of rubies or pearls and their gold wings are decorated with smaller rubies. The design implies "heaven bestows five fortunes" since bat is the homophone of fortune. The five fortunes are longevity, wealth, health, good characters and a good end. This ruyi scepter is a pleasure to fondle and hard to put down.

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