Melon-shaped jade box carved with a butterfly

Updated: May 8, 2023 Print
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Jasper melon-shaped box carved in relief with a butterfly on the lid, Qing Dynasty, housed by the Confucius Museum [Photo/Official WeChat account of the Confucius Museum]

This Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) jasper box is carved into the shape of an oval melon with intertwined vines. The lid, carved in relief with a butterfly with outspread wings, fits the base precisely. Set on a carved boxwood stand, the work combines a melon and butterfly, a joint motif that carries good wishes for “offspring in abundance and prosperity”.

The carved piece is not only a jewelry box but also a lifelike and exquisite work of art. It is a treasure in the permanent collection of the Confucius Museum in Qufu, Jining, Shandong province.

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