A rare silver inlaid bronze ruyi-sceptre Inlaid six-character Qianlong mark and of the period
Lot 173
A rare silver-inlaid bronze ruyi Inlaid Qianlong six-character mark and of the period
£9,000 - 12,000
US$ 14,000 - 19,000

Lot Details
A rare silver inlaid bronze ruyi-sceptre Inlaid six-character Qianlong mark and of the period
A rare silver-inlaid bronze ruyi
Inlaid Qianlong six-character mark and of the period
The sceptre of elongated convex form terminating in a lobed ruyi head, the handle finely inlaid in silver wire on both sides with a central cartouche enclosing a shou character within a sectional wan-diaper ground and a stylised archaistic dragon, all divided by interlocked lappets, the ruyi head with a central medallion enclosing a lappet flanked by linghzi fungus encircled by sectional wan diaper ground, the seal mark inlaid on the reverse.
39cm (15⅜in) long

Footnotes

  • Compare a related longer iron ruyi with silver damascened design and a Qianlong six-character seal mark and of the period, illustrated by Sydney L. Moss, The Second Bronze Age: Later Chinese Metalwork, London, 1991, Catalogue no.38.

    As noted by Regina Krahl in E.S.Rawski and J.Rawson, eds., China: The Three Emperors 1662-1722, London, 2005, p.466, ruyi means 'as you wish' and a sceptre would have been presented to bestow upon the receiver good fortune. Its shape and symbolism appears to be connected to Buddhism. By the latter half of the Tang Dynasty it was adopted by Daoists as a secular good luck emblem and its shape was inspired by the lingzhi fungus associated with longevity. The present ruyi bears the seal mark of the Qianlong Emperor, who is known to have officially called upon courtiers to present ruyi upon Imperial birthdays and New Year celebrations.
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