A Fine Chinese Zitan wood Ruyi Scepter, elaborately carved depicting vigorously imperial dragons soaring between dense of flames and clouds. Adorned with deep blue knotted tassel.
Dimension: 18-1/4" L x 4-1/2"W
Zitan is an extremely dense wood; It is a member of the rosewood family and is botanically classified in the Pterocarpus genus. The wood is blackish-purple to blackish-red in color, and its fibers are laden with deep red pigments which have been used for dye since ancient times. Zitan, a slow-growing rosewood evergreen tree, provides wood in very limited supply. This rare Zitan wood was used to make furniture in China as early as the third century. The slow growth of the tree leads to very small, fine grains that make the wood ideal for detailed carving techniques.
During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the demand for Zitan furniture grew out of control and became closely monitored under the reign of Emperor QianLong.
In 300 years, a Zitan tree only grows to be about 30 feet tall and 10 inches wide.
Zitan is such a dense and heavy wood that it is actually incapable of floating in the water