Nanjing Museum meets Colchester Castle for 4,500-year-old Treasures of China adventure

By Ben Miller | 28 June 2012
An image of an ornate jade suit in the shape of a horizontal human being
© Colchester and Ipswich Museums
Exhibition: Treasures of China, Colchester Castle, Colchester, June 30 2012 – January 7 2013

From the east of England to the east coast of China, the 24-year partnership between Essex County Council and the Jiangsu Provincial Government has resulted in a gallery-pleasing twist: this set of 70 treasures from Nanjing Museum – the second-largest museum in China – is a coup for the castle, taking Stone Age tombs as a starting point for 4,500 years of history.

A photo of an ancient Chinese ornament in the shape of a fish, coloured yellow and green
Fish vase
© Colchester and Ipswich Museums
A 2,000-year-old lifesize jade suit from the resting place of a Han Dynasty ruler, a gold cicada sitting on a jade leaf which is thought to have been worn by a Ming Princess almost 600 years ago and luxury items and ornaments from 20th century Imperial families feature, as well as a celebration of Chinese crafts and the place of animals in Chinese culture, symbolised by delicate jade mice, pottery pigs and three wise monkeys immortalised on a lacquer plate.

  • Open 10am-5pm (11am-5pm Sunday, closed December 24-27, January 1). Admission £4-£6.25 (free for under-5s, family ticket £16.75).
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