Flower basket

Qing dynasty, about 1700–50

An elegantly woven basket is filled with a flower arrangement, of which a beautiful red peony is the centrepiece.

The ribbon attached to the basket’s handle seems to be afloat in a gentle breeze. A poem in fluent running script is printed above. The inscription further states that this print was produced in a workshop of the Ding-clan in Suzhou.

For each colour a separate wooden block was carved and impressed on the sheet of paper.

In China, the peony is considered the queen of flowers and stands for beauty and prosperity. Prints of this kind were probably presented as gifts in the form of single sheets or sets conveying good wishes for happiness, long life, wealth, many descendants, and career success.

Imperial China


Imperial Chinese history is marked by the rise and fall of many dynasties.

Imperial China world culture

Qing dynasty

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Ding-workshop, Jinchang district, Suzhou
Jiangsu province


Height: 29.6 centimetres (paper sheet)
Width: 36.9 centimetres (paper sheet)

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This object features in A History of the World in 100 objects

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