Date Made/Found: around 1850
Material and Medium: Ivory, wood, malachite, turquoise, coral
Dimensions: Overall (Total with base): 570 × 150mm (22 7/16 × 5 7/8in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: 2007.218
This figure is of one of the handmaidens of the Royal Lady of the West.
In Daoist legend she was the queen of the female Immortals who ruled a paradise called West Flower. Her husband presided over men in his East Flower paradise. The Western Paradise contained an enchanted palace with beautiful pagodas and halls built of marble and jasper, a nine-storied tower, sparkling brooks and waterfalls, and a magical garden. There, the Royal Lady of the West cultivated the herbs and fungus of immortality. Among her plants was the jade plant, which conferred everlasting life. There was also a famous tree with peaches that ripened only once in 3000 years and bestowed immortality.Display Location: