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Gold Bracelets with Two Dragons Playing with a Pearl

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Period: Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Dimensions: Diameter: 5.9 cm; thickness: 0.8 cm

This pair of circular gold bracelets was crafted using gold chiseling. Each piece is fashioned as two dragons meeting face to face with their bodies chiseled into a scale pattern. Where the two heads meet is embedded a large pearl in a depiction of the motif “Two Dragons Playing with a Pearl” (Shuanglong xizhu). The exquisite craftsmanship brings the design to life. The inner side is unadorned, featuring only the mark 'Yihe', which indicates the bracelets were made by a private goldsmith. In the late-Qing period (Qing dynasty, 1644–1911), due to the depletion of the court treasury, the imperial workshops decreased their scale of production. Gold or silver items were often commissioned or purchased from private manufacturers. Juhua, Deyu, and Yihe were private workshops called upon to produce gold and silver items for the imperial family.

Website version edited by Adam J. Ensign and Zhuang Ying

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