Golden Celestial Globe with Pearl Inlays

Qing Imperial Workshop

The Palace Museum

The Palace Museum

This golden celestial globe with pearl inlays consists of three main parts, namely, the base, frame, and globe. The globe is inlaid with pearls that represent the twenty-eight traditional Chinese constellations (xingxiu), 300 other constellations, and more than 2,200 stars. It is also engraved with the representatives of the three main celestial groupings of traditional Chinese astronomy (namely the Ziwei, Tianshi, and Taiwei). The middle of the base features a compass. Inestimably valuable, this work is the only celestial globe made of gold to have been preserved from dynastic times.

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  • Title: Golden Celestial Globe with Pearl Inlays
  • Creator: Qing Imperial Workshop
  • Physical Dimensions: sphere diameter: 29.5 cm, frame height: 61.5 cm
  • Provenance: Qing imperial collection
  • Type: metalwork
  • Medium: gold, pearl


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