The first time I visited Taiwan I was awestruck by an exhibit at the National Palace Museum in Taipei City called The Emperor's Toy Chests. The exhibit was a room full of curio cabinets from the 15-18th centuries. Each curio cabinet was a unique and fascinating piece of craftsmanship containing between 12 and 92 drawers each... many of which were hidden behind revolving doors and in secret spaces. Inside every drawer was a tiny treasure.. a carved ivory elephant, a cloisonné perfume bottle, a tiny watercolor painting, a gold and pearl necklace, an embroidered coat clasp... Each item was precious and beautiful and made by hand.
|Emperor's Curio Boxes (see www.chinaculture.org)|
And my Emperor's Toy Chest opens into an accordion book of pockets... filled with treasures and labeled with fortunes.
|Inside The Emperor's Toy Chest|
|Page 1, a tiny book of handmade paper; Page 2, pieces of mica|
|Page 5, Copper enamel 'love, love'; Page 6, dried pansy|
|Last Page watercolor painting and its Fortune|
|Back side... an accordion of colored pockets to fill...|