The rectangular panel, with wood and hardstone inlays on a black lacquer ground. A magnolia tree standing in the middle. The gnarled trunk growing into several branches with blossoming flowers and buds. On the lower part, rocks with flowers, plants and lingzhi mushrooms, while peonies are blossoming under the tree branches. The craftsman uses delicacy and skills to create contrasts between the wood, hardstones and lacquer. The panel is framed with a keyfret frieze and a precious wood frame.
The association of white magnolia and peony is particularly auspicious, it is a wish of wealth and honor for the household. This type of sophisticated panel was part of the decoration of Chinese palaces.
See The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Furniture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, vol. II n°184 (a panel with similar work of inlays in the Forbidden City’s collection)