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Ink Cake with Deer Design

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Period: First year of the Tianqi Emperor's reign (1621), Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Dimensions: Thickness: 1.5 cm Diameter: 12.3

Both sides are covered with numerous deer. On the side are characters that read "Produced during the first year of the reign of the Tianqi Emperor; Cangcang Workshop collection". Each deer is unique, and all of them seem to be at leisure. Against a natural landscape background, some are walking. Others are crouching while yet more are drinking or grazing. Such imagery was inspired by the longing for a lifestyle of seclusion in which one is free to wander in nature. 

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