A long sampan with several figures on board, carved with elaborate details and with wave motifs around the base, fitted with teakwood stand with white jade birds inset in the wave carving.

Pleasure Boat, 18th century

Unknown artist, expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

This finely detailed pleasure boat is carved in perfect unison with its rosewood base, which captures the water flowers and aquatic birds and crustaceans of the lotus pond on which the craft is meant to sail. The great pleasure gardens of the Qing dynasty, such as the Summer Palace in Beijing, included extensive planted water courses that accommodated the boating parties of the aristocracy. This exquisite carving shows a group of boaters complete with potted plants and wicker picnic hampers. With its aristocratic theme, flawless white nephrite, and superb craftsmanship, it epitomizes the decorative tastes of the 1700s. The inscription carved along the front of the boat, Qianlong yuwan (For the amusement of the emperor Qianlong), indicates that the boat was created in an imperial workshop.

Details
Title
Pleasure Boat
Role
Artist
Dimension
11 in. (27.94 cm)
Accession Number
92.103.10a-f
Curator Approved

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A long sampan with several figures on board, carved with elaborate details and with wave motifs around the base, fitted with teakwood stand with white jade birds inset in the wave carving.