The Second Room

 The Second RoomThe jade jar means that the emperor’s happiness was as endless as water in the Eastern Sea.

  The jade mountain means that the emperor’s life was as long as the old pine in the Southern Mountain.

  In the eastern room you will find pavilions, towers and pagodas made of gold, inlaid with precious stones. They were gifts for the concubines. The emperor had many wives, so after he died many of the young women became widows. With nothing to do, they prayed for long life. They were all very particular about the decorations of their own altars.

  Here you can see the seven treasures: namely, gold, silver, jade, pearl, sea shell, diamond, jadeite: and the eight magic weapons of wheel, spiral shell, umbrella, lid, lotus flower, jar, fish and intestine. They were Buddhist emblems usually found in the lama temples.

  The dragon robe was worn by Emperor Qianlong when he gave an audience. It was woven with peacock feathers adorned with pearls and coral beads.

  This is an armour worn by the Emperor when he reviewed the military parade. It weights more than 15 kilos.
  The hair pins were for the empresses and concubines.
  There are the imperial beads and pearls worn by the emperor on big occasions. They originated from the Songhua River in Heilongjiang Province.

  Here is a woven ivory mat. The tusk was peeled into thin strips, then softened in some kind of chemical agents before weaving. It is a pity that the method of making was lost! The tusks were gifts from Burma. They are two metres long and weigh 50 kilos each.
This is a huge piece of jade carving. It shows how Yu the Great of the Xia Dynasty led the people in harnessing the Yellow River. It weighs 5 tons and was mined in Xinjiang, Northwest China. It was shipped all the way to Beijing and Yangzhou for carving and then shipped back to Beijing again. Mining, transportation and carving took ten years altogether. During Emperor Qianlong’s time 3,000 people were involved each year to mine 15,000 kilos of jade for the court.

  The daggers in the showcase were used by the emperor for self-defence.
  This room was the place where Emperor Qianlong composed poems and celebrated his birthdays.

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