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Peach

Symbol of immortality, emblem of marriage and spring. The Daoists consider it a sacred fruit, believing it is produced by the fabled peach-tree - that grows near the palace of Xiwangmu - The Queen mother of the West, Queen of the Immortals - which blossoms every 3,000 years. This peach grants immortality to anyone who eats it.

Vases with nine peaches was a popular motif in the Qing dynasty during the Yongzheng and Qianlong reigns and was used for the emperor's birthday. Bowls and plates were also made with this design. The quality of the painting and layout degraded to a rather amateurish appearance by the time of Guangxu, compared to the magnificence of the Yongzheng and Qianlong versions. 20th century copies vary in quality but none even approach the realistic representation seen on the 18th century pieces.

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