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Agate Water Container in the Form of a Peach

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Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Medium: agate
Date: undated
Origin: Qing court collection
Dimensions: height: 3.5 cm, mouth diameter: 2.4 - 3.2 cm

This peach-shaped water container is made of translucent agate with several red flecks. Carved with peach stems and leaves, it is hollow for holding water. The artist ingeniously arranged the red specks at the tip of the fruit to resemble a real peach. It exemplifies the jade carving technique called "ingenious craftsmanship" that first appeared in the Shang period (16th century BCE-11th century BCE). Artists carved jade into various shapes cleverly using their original colors.   
  The artist successfully carved the smooth agate into a peach that looks like it could have fallen from heaven onto a scholar's table.

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