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The mysterious symbols that decorate a rare enamelled copper staff are uncovered for the modern viewer in Timeless Treasure: The Runic Calendar Staff. Displaying a runic calendar based on a Swedish model of circa 1750, this staff is among the few copper objects enamelled with Western designs in China during the 18th century. Runic calendar staffs are so called due to the theme of their decoration, which comprises inscriptions with runes forming a perpetual calendar, or almanac. Wooden staffs of this type were important timekeeping devices in Scandinavia in use from at least the 12th century. With only four comparable examples known to survive in museum collections, this study adds to a growing body of literature on Chinese enamelled copper wares.
Published by Jorge Welsh Research & Publishing, October 2019
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