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Table Decoration

18th century

Nephrite, wood H 10.8 cm

This table decoration is executed in milky white jade in the shape of two Pekinese ducks flying side by side. The wings, tails and feathering on the heads are designated by a geometrical pattern. One duck holds a flower stem, while a narcissus grows alongside the other. The base is fashioned in the form of a lotus leaf. The carved wooden stand forms a fine supplement to this nephrite composition. Taken together, the group symbolizes wishes of well-being: the narcissus is a symbol of longevity; ducks symbolize conjugal happiness; the lotus signifies the birth of many sons. Using the stone's natural beauty and preserving its form, the artist skillfully brings out the lightness and elegance of the birds' movements.

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