Panel with cranes over an immortal land


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Two cranes holding sticks in their beaks fly above a landscape. A pavilion below holds a vase containing several more sticks. Cranes and sticks symbolize longevity; the source of the imagery is a legend about a man who measured his age by the number of sticks he stuck into an immortal land. The poem embroidered on the right is dated 1777 and describes this immortal land, making this panel an ideal gift for a birthday celebration. The poem bears seals of Niu Yizu (active late 18th century), a prefect of Xuzhou known for his calligraphy, who wrote the script that was used for the embroidery.

Panel with cranes over an immortal land, Silk embroidery on satin, China

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