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Ruyi sceptre and stand reign of Qianlong, 1736-95

Jadeite, gold foil, wood and other semi-precious stones | 11.9 x 52.5 x 12.7 cm (excluding base/stand) | RCIN 70708

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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  • The ruyi with arched shaft, probably of carved wood, encased in gold foil decorated with repoussé floral scrollwork. Set in an oval central panel, a plaque of bright green jadeite carved with Buddha's hand citron, the large turned-over head of 'cloud-collar' shape holding a similar round plaque carved with peaches, and at the enlarged bottom end, set crossways, an oval plaque carved with pomegranate. On top of the shaft between are eight small settings for further inlays of auspicious emblems, of which only two, in the form of a lotus bloom in carved coral and a fish in white jade, remain. The underside of the gilded shaft engraved with floral scrolls and its edges with key-fret, with sprays of hibiscus on the head. Correspondingly shaped, the low, flat stand composed of layers of card covered in patterned yellow and red silk.

    Text adapted from Chinese and Japanese Works of Art in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen: Volume III.


    Presented to Queen Victoria by Lieutenant General Henry Hope Crealock (1831–91) in 1861, with RCIN 70002.

    In 1860, British and French troops were involved in the sacking of Yuanmingyuan (also known as the 'Old Summer Palace') outside Peking (now Beijing) following the Second Opium War. A variety of works of art were taken. The British Ambassador ordered all such objects to be surrendered and a prize sale to be held where anyone could bid for these objects. Crealock was among those who acquired pieces. The ruyi was subsequently recorded in the Windsor Castle North Corridor Inventory of Arms and Armour (no. 662).

  • Medium and techniques

    Jadeite, gold foil, wood and other semi-precious stones


    11.9 x 52.5 x 12.7 cm (excluding base/stand)

  • Place of Production