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Polychrome Dish Painted with Magu Presenting Birthday Gifts and Kangxi Reign Mark

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Period: Kangxi reign (1662-1722), Qing dynasty (1644–1911)

This dish was made for the sixtieth birthday celebration of the Kangxi Emperor (r. 1662-1722). Painted in the centre is a scene of Magu the Goddess of Longevity presenting a symbol of longevity, a traditional birthday-related theme in China. Legend has that on the third day of the third lunar month—the birthday of the Queen Mother of West—Magu would attend the celebration to present wine she prepared with the lingzhi fungus grown on the bank of the Jiangzhu River. 

Website version edited by Zhuang Ying and Adam J. Ensign

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