Artist/maker unknown, Chinese
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This nearly flawless moon carving shrouded in auspicious ruyi (as you wish)–shaped clouds is supported on a base depicting the rabbit of Chinese legend who lives on the moon and who concocts the elixir of immortality. The fifth-century poem on its surface, incised by the renowned artist Zhao Pingchong in the last year of the Qianlong emperor’s reign, tells the story of an ancient ruler who, when parted from his beloved, found solace in gazing at the moon.