Qing abstinence plaque

Qing abstinence plaque

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Rectangular plaque made of green jade, carved as two facing dragons, their bodies framing a rectangular cartouche at the center with 'abstinence' inscribed in Manchu and Chinese.

A quick online search makes it clear that abstinence plaques are no rarity on the art market. They come in all forms and materials, while the size and the message is always the same. They reminded the court to observe abstinence three days prior to worshipping activities. This jade specimen was sold through Christie's and is no longer in their database - all the more reason to explore.

Object views

Stories

  • Wearing abstinence

    story by Juul Eijk

    These plaques reminded the court to observe abstinence three days prior to the worshipping of ancestors, Heaven or other gods. This story is about a solemn symbol with, at times, loud designs.

    Start this story