Object Image

Ruyi Scepter in the Shape of a Fungus of Longevity

One translation of the Chinese term ruyi is "as you wish," and scepters in this shape were often given as gifts because of the good wishes they implied. Although they may have had certain ritual functions, scepters frequently appeared in displays, either placed on stands or in vases and brush pots alongside other functional and/or exotic goods. Ruyi scepters were made in a range of materials including metals, various types of wood, and ivory.

Credit: Purchase, The B. D. G. Leviton Foundation Gift, 1984...

17th-18th century
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection