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Pomander

Location

CHINA

Era

Qing dynasty (1644-1911)

Title

Pomander

Date

18th c.

Materials

Jade

Dimensions

5 cm (diam.)

Credits

Gift of Mrs. W. Hugh Owen, inv. 1966.Ed.28a-b

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

From the second half of the 18th century onwards, carvers increasingly worked with mined jade. Unlike natural pebbles, excavated materials came in a wide range of shapes and sizes, which gave carvers free reign to develop their skill and imagination. New styles therefore emerged as a result of modern technology. The small, circular pomander was created in the midst of a fashion craze for perfume boxes. Designed to hold fragrant flowers, it was masterfully carved in a complex, openwork pattern of four orchids curled around the emblem of “double happiness.” Pomanders were often given as presents or worn on a festive occasion such as a wedding or a birthday. The lingzhi fungus design on the pendant bestows blessings of longevity on its owner.

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