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Cultural heritage:Chrysanthemum stone carving

(People's Daily Online)    14:56, February 01, 2018

Chrysanthemum stone is a precious natural stone carving material mainly produced in Liuyang and Luxi in Hunan province. The stone got its name because of the white chrysanthemum mineral aggregates formed naturally inside. It was generated in the early Periman period about 270,000,000 years ago.

The chrysanthemum is composed of two parts of stamen and petal, with the stamen being the center, and aligns in a three-dimensional manner and radial pattern and in various shapes and forms. At present, China is the only country that produces chrysanthemum stone.

Hunan’s chrysanthemum stone carving features a long history of over 260 years. During the Qianlong reign in the Qing Dynasty, it was used as a royal tribute. The chrysanthemum stone carving is highly regarded and has a high collection value and is seen as a national treasure of China. It is collected by both the Palace Museum and Ziguang Pavilion in Zhongnanhai. It is often sent by the Chinese government as a gift to international friends. The crafts of Chrysanthemum stone carving include plain sculpture, relief, circular engraving, line carving, hallowed carving, three-dimensional carving and integrated carving.

Based on the flower shape and the topics, the craftsman carves and defines these stones into throngs of Chrysanthemums with petals, leaves and branches, both vivid and lifelike and with a unique shape. As there are no two flowers identical to one another, each piece of stone carving work is original, hence making them even more previous.


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