The Qianlong Emperor was a devout Buddhist and is known to have commissioned the making of a large number of religious artefacts for the Imperial temples and shrines located in the Forbidden City. He relied on the advise of his mentor and religious teacher, the lama Rolpay Dorje (see Teresa Tse Bartholemew, 'Sino-Tibetan Art of the Qianlong Period from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco', Orientations, June 1991, pp. 34-45). Rolpay Dorje became the Grand Lama at Beijing in 1736, and when he died, the emperor had a hall in the Pavilion of Raining Flowers (Yuhuage), the largest Tantric chapel of Tibetan Buddhism in the Qing palace, devoted to his memory. A complete set of Buddhist emblems, most probably made of gilt-bronze and enamel, can be found in situ decorating the shrine and altar on the third floor of the Pavilion of Raining Flowers and is illustrated in Cultural Relics of Tibetan Buddhism Collected in the Qing Palace, Hong Kong, 1992, pl. 109-1.
See also a comparable set of Buddhist emblems in gilt-bronze and cloisonné enamel included in the exhibition Buddhist Art from Rehol, The Chang Foundation, Taipei, 1999, cat. no. 68; and two cloisonné and champlevé enamel emblems of the Endless Knot and the Umbrella, from the Clague Collection in the Phoenix Art Museum, illustrated in Chinese Cloisonné, Phoenix, 1990, pl. 48.
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