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Date: early 18th century
Medium: jadite
Overall: 1 3/8 x 4 13/16 in. (3.5 x 12.2 cm)
Classification: Containers
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas L. Tatham through exchange
Object number: 89.0047
DescriptionThe union of the tortoise and the snake symbolizes the north and the Black Emperor. Unlike other directions, the north was never worshipped in pre-dynastic times because it was feared to be the home of the destructive god of the ocean wind. The Han rulers declared that they ruled under the protection of water and the north, and so sacrificed to the Black Emperor. Note the presence of these two creatures on the base of the sculpture of Zhenwu, Lord of the North Cardinal Point (91.0302).
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