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Gilded Copper Stove Designed as Variously Sized Peaches

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Period: Guangxu reign (1875–1908), Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Medium: Gilt copper, cloisonné enamel
Dimensions: Height: 105 cm; diameter: 88 cm

 The design of this stove includes nine peaches. Each part of the stove is fashioned in the shape of a peach. Three small gilded copper peaches support a stack of progressively sized peaches—the bottom and largest peach is the chamber, the middle and medium sized one is the cover, and the top and smallest is the knob. Another three peaches decorate the body of the stove. Nine bats flutter among the fruit and branches. The second character in the two-character word for “bat” (bianfu) is a homophone for “fortune” (fu). The peach is a symbol of long life. As a gift for Cixi’s fiftieth birthday, this stove presents the wish for fortune and longevity.

English editing by Adam J. Ensign and Zhuang Ying

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