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Ju-i Scepter
On View In:
Gallery 217
Artist:   Artist Unknown  
Title:   Ju-i Scepter  
Date:   late 17th-early 18th century  
Medium:   Boxwood  
Dimensions:   2 5/16 x 2 3/4 x 13 5/8 in. (5.88 x 6.99 x 34.61 cm)  
Credit Line:   Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton  
Location:   Gallery 217  

The form of scepter called ju-i (meaning "as desired" or as "you wish") is an ancient auspicious symbol that became the mark of a cultivated gentleman. It may have originated as a weapon or as a Buddhist implement, but old paintings often depict scholars holding ju-i scepters while engaged in conversation. By the Ming period those done in "organic taste" like this one were common literati accoutrements and they were often given as gifts.

Carved from boxwood in imitation of rootwood, with ju-i heads, this scepter is a classic example of the Chinese scholar's love of natural forms. The reverse side bears a carved poem along the shaft which reads as follows:

Crows gather in the tree-lined alley,

bestowed by imperial order, seated for tea.

Returning to the Jade Hall feeling refreshed.

A new crescent moon shines over

branches of thorn ferns.

Object Description  
Inscriptions:   Inscription back side length, poem: 'Crows gathering at the tree-lined alley, Bestowed by imperial orders, and s  
Classification:   Woodwork  
Creation Place:   Asia, China, , ,  
Accession #:   95.89  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts  


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