A 19th century Chinese miniature mountain depicting the Buddhist Paradise, made from zitan, hardstone, and gilt bronze. Imperial workshops located in Beijing and Canton created spectacular works of art such as this model. Composed of zitan, a wood largely restricted for Imperial use and characterized by a dense, tight grain and dark purplish-black colour. The figures and pavilions are of gilt bronze with details in silver, gilt-silver, kingfisher feather, simulated malachite, coral, ivory, and enamels. This model was possibly created as a presentation gift from the Imperial household to a high official or dignitary. The workmanship and design indicate that this is most likely from the Guanxu reign (1875-1908), and is complete with the original black lacquer bronze-mounted carrying case.
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