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Miniature Scene with Carved Lingzhi Fungi

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Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Medium: jade, agate, tourmaline, amethyst, coral, lapis lazuli
Artist(s): Workshop of the Imperial Household Department

Dimensions: total height: 14.5 cm, height of basin 4.6 cm

Former Qing Palace Collection
The jade basin (pen, lit. "flower pot") is round and has thin sides; the diameter of the rim is wider than the base. A partition—dyed green and embedded within the basin—serves as the soil, from which sprout various treasures. Lingzhi fungi (of the genus Ganoderma), a lake rock, flowers, and foliage ornament this vibrant scene. Two large stems support several conks—the brackets or caps of this type of mushroom. The stems are crafted from wood and covered in gold lacquer. The conks are adhered to the stems with round fixtures and made from a diverse selection of precious and semi-precious stones, including jade, agate, tourmaline, amethyst, coral, and lapis lazuli. Crafted in a diversity of sizes, the lingzhi fungi present a range of textures and combinations of color. A lake rock carved from white jade, various flowers and plants carved of wood, and wood silhouettes of the fungi invoke a sense of unordered miscellany. Auspiciousness and longevity are the underlying implications presented in this assortment of treasures. The exquisite work demonstrates the luxury of the imperial household.

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