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Three vases in archaic bronze forms carved on a stepped stand: in the centre, an incense burner, with upright handles and three animal-style feet, carved with a taotie, the domed cover with an oval button knob; to one side, a two-handled vase, also with t

Vibrant jades from around the world

China

Ruyi sceptre and stand reign of Qianlong, 1736-95

RCIN 70708

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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This ruyi sceptre was presented to Queen Victoria in 1861 by Lieutenant General Henry Hope Crealock. In 1860 French and British troops were involved in the sacking of the Yuanmingyuan (the Old Summer Palace) outside Beijing and during this time 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 objects.