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Tourmaline Ornament with Grape and Squirrel Designs

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Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Medium: tourmaline
Dimensions: length: 4.1 cm; width: 3.7; thickness: 0.9 cm

This bicolor tourmaline accessory features openwork carving on both sides of the oblong stone. Light pink in color, the periphery is carved into two squirrels; they have long tails and are posed with their heads to the other's tail. The central part, in dark-purple, is designed to resemble grapes with grape leaves and leaf veins on the reverse. The top is pierced with a hole for two silk strings fastened by two sets of pearl beads and one green-jade bead. The artisan took advantage of the tourmaline’s two colors feature to design the carved pattern; it is full of liveliness and appeal for the accessory's owner.

Keywords: tourmaline (bixi), openwork (toudiao)

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Author: Yang Jie
Translated by Wang Mengxi and Adam J. Ensign
Edited by Zhuang Ying
 

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