Meat-shaped Stone

Tags: National Palace Museum | stone


Ch'ing Dynasty (1644-1911)
Height: 5.73 cm, width: 6.6 cm, thickness: 5.3 cm 
In the collection of the National Palace Museum, two of the most famous works on display are "Jadeite Cabbage" and "Meat-shaped Stone", which is why these two are often exhibited together for the appreciation of visitors. At first glance, this meat-shaped piece of stone looks like a luscious, mouth-watering piece of "Tung-p'o meat". Made from banded jasper, it is a naturally occurring stone that accumulates in layers over many years. With time, different impurities will result in the production of various colors and hues to the layers. The craftsman who made this meat-shaped stone took the rich natural resources of this stone and carved it with great precision, and then the skin was stained. This process resulted in the appearance of skin and lean and fatty layers of meat, the veining and hair follicles making the piece appear even more realistic.

Text: Shih Ching-fei

Text and images are provided by National Palace Museum