Palace Museum treasures arrived for Shanghai
By Zou Huilin
Shanghai Museum provided a glimpse to the media yesterday of articles
that will be displayed in its exhibition of priceless treasures
from the Palace Museum in Beijing.
The show will open to the public on January 24 and will continue
through March 26.
A superb collection of 160 pieces from the imperial court of the
Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) will be on display.
Shanghai Museum Director Chen Xiejun noted: "Some of the exhibits
are, for the first time, on display outside of the Palace Museum
and they probably will never be on display anywhere else due to
their fragility and great value."
Yan Yong, the vice researcher from the imperial court department
of the Palace Museum, added that a roll of bed matting made of ivory
and a jade carved boulder named "The Mountain-travelling in
the Autumn" are among the items that will never leave Beijing
There are only two rolls of ivory bed matting and three jade carved
boulders in the entire collection of the Palace Museum.
Yan added: "The ministers in the reign of the Emperor Yongzheng
ordered the best technicians to produce such bed matting as tributes
to the emperor."
Yan said making the bedrolls was a very time-consuming and expensive
project and after strenuous work, the technician only turned in
two rolls. "Emperor Yongzheng then ordered the ministers not
to made any more of the tributes, as it was such an extravagant
As for the 1.3-metre jade carved boulder, it was made of a huge
piece of Hetian jade.
The carving on the jade boulder was based on the Qing Dynasty imperial
painter Jin Tingbiao's namesake painting. Jin painted it again on
the boulder and the ministers transported it to Yangzhou where the
top jade carving technicians lived.
Zhao Guilin from the Palace Museum said: "Among the three jade
carved boulders, the carving of 'The Mountain-travelling in the
Autumn' was the most exquisite."
She added: "The mountain roads carved out in the boulder become
narrower and more abrupt as they wind upward, which is a vivid reflection
of the real world."
Li Zhongmou, the director of the exhibition department of the museum,
said: "Apart from the two pieces recommended, there are also
a lot of exhibits which arouse great interest from the audience
such as clocks sent to the emperors by foreign ambassadors and the
costumes of the emperors and empresses."
Li added that the viewers can see a replica of the studio of the
Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, which was named "san
xi tang" (translated as "The Studio of the Three Rarities"),
which will offer viewers a lively image of court life.