Crystal sphere or ball. An ornamental treasure of the Imperial Palace in Beijing, this crystal sphere was said to have been a favorite possession of the Empress Dowager Cixi (1835 -1908 CE), under whose watch imperial China crumbled. The rock crystal originated in Burma and was shaped into a sphere through years of constant rotation in a semi-cylindrical container filled with emery, garnet powder, and water. The forty-nine pound flawless crystal sphere is believed to be one of the largest in the world. The stand in the shape of a wave was designed by a Japanese artisan. Cutting probably begun in China and finished in Japan. Made for the Empress Dowager of China.
Purchased from Wanamaker's Department Store; subscription of Eldridge R. Johnson
Current & Past Exhibitions:
Chinese Rotunda (1968)
Chinese Halls (1941 - 1966)
[Article] Fernald, H. E. 1928. The George Byron Gordon Memorial Collection of Chinese Objects in Jade, Crystal, Lapis Lazuli and Coral. The Museum Journal. Volume XIX (No. 1): 35-71. : Page/Fig./Plate: Pg. 41
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