QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)
The zitan ruyi is carved in openwork and in high relief with fruit entwined within scrolling foliage wrapped around the curvy staff. The head of the ruyi is carved in the shape of a cluster of peach, persimmon and finger citron. The combination of the three fruit is referred to as ‘sanduo’—or ‘three abundances’ – a popular auspicious well-wishing offered on a ruyi, a staff of longevity and immortality. The ruyi is embellished with its original orange tassel.
A similarly decorated zitan ruyi in the Palace Museum collection was on loan in the Royal Academy exhibition and published in China: The Three Emperors, 1662-1795, London, 2005, p. 366, Catalogue No. 273