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Presentation Box


Presentation Box
Presentation Box
1736-95 (Ch'ing dynasty)
Tricolor lacquer
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Augustus L. Searle

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Long, long ago a woman named Hsi Wang-mu (she wong-moo) ruled over the Land of the Immortals in the Kunlun (cun-lun) mountains. Her incredible mountain residence was renowned for its marble and jasper buildings, nine-storied tower, sparkling brooks, and especially for its beautiful gardens. In the Land of the Immortals, bountiful peach trees grew. One of the peach trees in Hsi Wang-mu's orchard blossomed only once every 3,000 years. Its luscious fruit took an additional 3,000 years to ripen. Anyone lucky enough to eat the magical fruit of this tree was granted immortality. When the peaches were harvested, Hsi Wang-mu held a huge celebration and feast at her home, at which her mortal visitors ate the precious peaches. She also invited the immortals to taste the fruit, since they, too, had to wait 6,000 years to enjoy this amazing delicacy.

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