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Wrist Rest with Nine Old Scholars

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Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Medium: ivory
Origin: item used in the Qing court
Dimensions: length: 17.3 cm, width: 3.9 cm, thickness: 1.1 cm

The wrist rest is in the form of a traditional tile. Its surface is incised with a smiling God of Longevity who holds in his two hands a scroll; he wears a baggy robe and shoes with cloud-shaped toes. The reverse is carved with a painting of Nine Old Scholars, which communicates a wish for longevity. The design includes a mountain range, a river and a path to the peak. Nine old scholars are variously crossing the bridge, meeting on the way, or chatting together. Although each figure is no larger than a bean, they all appear clear and vivid. In the distance, both the mountains and buildings disappear into the clouds. 
  This wrist rest uses both shallow and high-relief carving. Various techniques contribute to either simple or intricate designs, yet convey the same auspicious meaning. This cunning wrist rest is representative of Qing dynasty ivory objects of scholar's paraphernalia.

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