|The National Palace Museum, the Shenyang Palace Museum and the Cartier Collection jointly present the dazzling exhibition entitled Royal Style: Qing Dynasty and Western Court Jewelry, held at the National Palace Museum’s Library Building exhibition hall. The display showcases 475 sets and pieces of precious jewelry, juxtaposing dazzling modern gems from the West with splendid examples from the Qing dynasty court in China. |
Jewelry from the Qing court emphasizes its own virtues and connotations, the sparkle of a gemstone or its rarity not being the most important factor. The freshwater “eastern pearl,” for example, came from the homeland of the ruling Manchu and thus was highly prized. Also, such materials as lapis lazuli, amber, coral, and turquoise were particularly valued for their colors used in sacrifices to the Heavens, Earth, Sun, and Moon, respectively. The design of accessories for the Qing court often incorporates such festive or auspicious themes as good fortune, longevity, and peace. Among the 243 sets and pieces of Qing jewelry on display are not only 174 from the National Palace Museum, but also a collection of 69 lent from the Shenyang Palace Museum related to the Last Emperor, Puyi, and his empress, Wanrong. The Shenyang pieces provide a continuation of the National Palace Museum’s collection, thus offering a complete picture of Qing court jewelry.
European court jewelry symbolizes the power of a particular country as a whole, the dazzling display among male and female rulers and nobility clearly manifesting both their wealth and power. To present the peerless splendor of jewelry used by Western nobility to local audiences for comparison, a special loan was arranged with the Cartier Collection, which has a brand history of more than 165 years. The 232 sets and pieces from the Cartier Collection worn by nobility and the upper classes fully demonstrate the consummate attainment of jewelry craftsmanship in the West.
National Palace Museum Website