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White Jade Bowl with Gold and Ruby Floral Design

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Period: Qianlong reign (1736-1795), Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Date: undated
Dimensions: height: 4.8 cm, mouth diameter: 14.1 cm, foot diameter: 7 cm

Made of high-quality white jade, this round bowl has a gradually tapering body, two peach-shaped knobs and floral foot ring. Its jade is thin and fragile. The outside wall is inlaid with gold leaves and 108 ruby flower petals. Engraved on the inside wall is a poem by the Qianlong Emperor indicating that the raw jade was carved by Chinese craftsmen into a bowl for serving tea with milk during grand ceremonies, when the emperor allowed high officials the honor of drinking from it. Following the poem is incised the emperor's signature with the date "the first month of the bingwu year of the Qianlong era [1786]," At the base, there is an additional inscription reading "for the Qianlong Emperor's use" (Qianlong yu yong). 
  The craftsman's aesthetic taste influenced the style of his works. This luxurious bowl combining three precious materials is representative of the Hindustan style, displaying the bold character of indigenous peoples of western China. The Qianlong emperor treasured this jade bowl for the high-quality of its craftsmanship.

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