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Jadeite Flower Receptacle with Plum Blossom Design

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Period: Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Dimensions: Height: 12.1 cm; top diameter: 2.3 cm; base diameter: 4.2 x 7.6 cm

Made from a single piece of jadeite, this flower holder is white with a touch of green and seams of varying shades of brown. The craftsman took advantage of the stone’s natural colors while using high relief and openwork techniques to carve out the rocks, blossoming plum branches, and tree stump. The design includes a hollow cylinder for floral arrangements on the right side of the tree stump. The jadeite has a rich variety of color that complements the elegant plum blossoms. These natural elements combined with meticulous craftsmanship made the work a treasure of the Qing court.

The plum blossom is one of China's most celebrated auspicious symbols. Also known as one of the 'Three Friends of Winter', the plum blossom has been used from ancient times to symbolize lasting youth since it grows on old branches and endures low temperatures. In addition, the plum blossom has five petals, which represent the five blessings of fortune, prosperity (in an official career), longevity, happiness, and riches.

Website version edited by Adam J. Ensign and Zhuang Ying

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