A Chinese dragon boat, 19th Century.

This spectacular boat is made of gilt-metal, beautifully decorated with kingfisher feathers, whilst the partly gilded wooden base is surmounted by painted wood replicating waves.

It is modelled with tiny ivory figures of oarsmen and full rigging, including flying pennants.

The kingfisher feather decoration is typical of late 19th Century Beijing court taste.

Dragon boat racing originated in China over 2,000 years ago, as part of ritual folk festivals.


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