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Gold Cup and Tray

The cup and the tray were unearthed from the same tomb. They form a set, with the cup placed on the tray.

Gold Cup and Tray 

 
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Ming Dynasty


Height: 4.2 cm, Diameter: 7.8 cm, Bottom Diameter: 4.8 cm


Unearthed from the tomb of Wan Gui outside the You’anmen Gate in Beijing


The cup and the tray were unearthed from the same tomb. They form a set, with the cup placed on the tray.



 
 

Gilded Silver Mask

Metal masks were funerary articles for Khitan nobles to protect the faces of the diseased, which is a unique burial practice in Khitan tribes.

Gilded Silver Mask 

 
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Liao Dynasty


Length: 31 cm, Width: 22.2 cm


Unearthed in Fangshan, Beijing


Metal masks were funerary articles for Khitan nobles to protect the faces of the diseased, which is a unique burial practice in Khitan tribes. As to records, Khitan nobles after death would be covered faces with gold or silver masks and wrapped hands and feet with copper wires. Masks made of gold and silver were used according to different ranks, ages and genders of the occupants. This article is in good state of preservation. It has a clearly outlined face, slicked-back hair and projecting brow ridges. Its closed eyes and compressed lips show a calm expression. There are holes for cords beneath the ears and in the temples. The features of the masks are characteristic of Chinese northern minorities. Similar masks were discovered in tombs dating back to Liao Dynasty in Inner Mongolia and Liaoning.


 
 

Gem-inlaid Lidded Gold Kettle with Dragon Pattern

This kettle has a flaring mouth, a narrow neck, a bulging belly, a ring foot, a spout and a handle on the opposite sides, and a lid linking the handle with a chain.

Gem-inlaid Lidded Gold Kettle with Dragon Pattern 

 
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Ming Dynasty


Height: 19.4 cm, Rim Diameter: 4.4 cm, Bottom Diameter: 5.3 cm


Unearthed from the tomb of Wan Tong in Nanyuan outside the Yongdingmen Gate in Beijing


This kettle has a flaring mouth, a narrow neck, a bulging belly, a ring foot, a spout and a handle on the opposite sides, and a lid linking the handle with a chain. The lid, the neck and near the bottom are adorned with engraved patterns of plantain leaves, scrolls, clouds and lotus petals. There are two four-clawed winged dragons enclosed by flames on both sides of the belly. The lid, the spout and the handle are inlaid with twenty-seven rubies and sapphires, some of which have fallen off. Wan Tong was Wan Gui’s son and the younger brother of Concubine Wan of Emperor Xianzong. He was born in 1439 in the reign of Zhengtong and died in 1482 in the reign of Chenghua.



 
 

Gem-inlaid Peach-shaped Gold Cup

The cup is shaped like a half peach, with the handle shaped like the branch and leaves.

Gem-inlaid Peach-shaped Gold Cup 

 
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Ming Dynasty


Height: 4.4 cm, Length: 6.8 cm, Width: 5.2 cm


Unearthed from the tomb of Wan Tong in Nannyuan outside the Yongdingmen Gate in Beijing


The cup is shaped like a half peach, with the handle shaped like the branch and leaves. The interior and the handle are inlaid with rubies and sapphires. For making the cup, molding, welding and inlay techniques were all used. It is well designed and exquisitely wrought, resembling a real peach. The rich colors of rubies, sapphires and gold add profusion and elegance to the already monotonous plain article.



 
 

Octagonal Wine Cup with An Image of Drunken Li Bai

Octagonal Wine Cup with An Image of Drunken Li Bai 

 
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Ming Dynasty


Height: 2.9 cm, Rim Diameter: 7.8 cm, Bottom Diameter: 4.8 cm


Unearthed from the tomb of Wan Gui outside the You’anmen Gate in Beijing


This octagonal wine cup has a broad mouth with a folded rim, a gradually tapering downward body and a flat bottom. On the bottom is carved an image of drunken Li Bai (a great poet in the Tang Dynasty). He looks straight ahead with his right hand before his chest and left hand on an empty wine jar lying on its side. His right leg supports the right hand, and the left leg is bent. On the exterior surface engraved a scene of the Eight Immortals including in clockwise order Lü Dongbin, Han Zhongli, Tieguai Li, Zhang Guolao, Cao Guojiu, Han Xiangzi, Lan Caihe and He Xiangu. The cup is made with molding, welding and carving techniques.



 
 

Gold Bottle with Cloud and Phoenix Pattern

This bottle has a wide mouth, a long neck, a bulging belly and a flat bottom.

Gold Bottle with Cloud and Phoenix Pattern 

 
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The ninth year in the reign of Xuande in Ming Dynasty (1434 AD)


Height: 13 cm, Rim Diameter: 4.7 cm, Bottom Diameter: 8.9 cm


Unearthed from the tomb of Dong Si in Haidian District, Beijing


This bottle has a wide mouth, a long neck, a bulging belly and a flat bottom. It is fully adorned with a scroll pattern on the mouth rim, a smaller cloud and phoenix pattern on the neck, and a big cloud and phoenix pattern on the belly. It has a simple shape with a graceful outline and rich, elaborate patterns. The inscription on the outer bottom marks its maker, the year of production, its weight, and the purity of the gold.



 
 

Gold Ornament with Engraved Patterns

The ornament is made up of a lotus-leaf-shaped plaque and seven pendants attached to it.

Gold Ornament with Engraved Patterns 

 
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Ming Dynasty


Length: 52 cm


Unearthed from the tomb of Wan Gui outside the You’anmen Gate in Beijing


The ornament is made up of a lotus-leaf-shaped plaque and seven pendants attached to it. The upper part of the plaque represents two mandarin ducks standing opposite each other on the lotus leaf, beneath which are seven rings linking seven gold chains, each hanging a pendant, which respectively are scissor, bag, sword, jar, box, bottle, and Xi-awl. All of them are exquisitely wrought. Especially the jar, the bottle, the bag and the box are all fully applied with graceful patterns, producing strong ornamental effect.




 
 

Octagonal Plate with Engraved Figures and Pavilions Design

This plate is in octagonal shape, decorated with a continuous geometric pattern on the rim.

Octagonal Plate with Engraved Figures and Pavilions Design 

 
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Ming Dynasty


Height: 0.9 cm, Diameter: 16. 2 cm, Side Length: 6.6 cm


Unearthed from the tomb of Wan Gui outside the You'anmen Gate in Beijing


This plate is in octagonal shape, decorated with a continuous geometric pattern on the rim. It was firstly molded and then engraved with designs. The main motif at the bottom center is a group of men and buildings accompanied by trees, waves, bridges, horses and rocks. There are twenty-one men who are riding horses, carrying musical instruments, talking or drinking together, depicted with a natural, free and vivid style. The multi-eaves building, in contrast, are precisely rendered. As a whole, the scene has both activity and motionless, which is an engraving representation of traditional Chinese painting. The tomb occupant Wan Gui, born in 1392 in the reign of Hongwu and died in 1475 in the reign of Chenghua, was recorded in Annals of Ming Dynasty, who was the father of Wan Guifei, a concubine of Emperor Xianzong.