Pagoda and Case

Chinese, for American market

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

This intricately carved ivory pagoda was acquired in China by Samuel Shaw, who arrived in the port city of Canton (Guangzhou) in 1784 aboard The Empress of China, the first merchant ship sent there from the newly independent United States. Shaw’s tower is modelled after the famous "Porcelain Pagoda" of Nanjing, a structure that was synonymous with China for Westerners. The model replicates its distinctive nine-story elevation with tiered roof eaves adorned with small bells.

Pagoda and Case, Ivory, wood, Chinese, for American market

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