Mobile menu
An ovoid-shaped Chinese Ming period porcelain jar painted in rich blue around the sides with two five-clawed dragons among clouds and with rocks and waves below.  Round the shoulder a stylised shou (long life character) seems to grow out of the lotus

Extraordinary Chinese and Japanese Works of Art in the Royal Collection

China [Asia]

Pair of peach-shaped boxes and covers second half of eighteenth century

RCIN 10803

Your share link is...

  Close

On his tour of the Far East in 1922, Edward, Prince of Wales (the future Edward VIII; 1894–1972) spent many hours seeking examples of Chinese and Japanese craftsmanship to take home. In Kowloon, opposite Hong Kong Island, he enjoyed 'visiting the markets and buying souvenirs in the shops'. At Nikko, he also 'spent a morning walking through the precincts of the temples; [and exploring] the quaint curio shops'. Many of the purchases were for his mother, Queen Mary (1867–1953), who was an enthusiastic collector of Chinese and Japanese works of art. Before the Prince's trip, she seems to have given her son careful instructions about pieces he should acquire during his travels. This pair of Chinese lacquer boxes, purchased in Japan, contains a label which states 'to the order of the Queen'. They depict two of the Eight Immortals, legendary figures from Chinese mythology.