Qing Imperial Ruyi

All things

Qing Imperial Ruyi


Ruyi: from backscratcher to royal gift

story by Koen van der Lijn

This story tells the history of a thing that talks: the ruyi 如意. Centred around the ruyi possibly given to Lord Macartney by the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1736-1796), the story briefly explores the Qing Imperial Household Records on the object whilst highlighting gift giving by and to the Qing court.

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