Here's a picture of most of the items spread out on my coffee table. There's a lot of tsatskes, but some things I just couldn't help but buy.
First off, I bought a lot of pearls. When I went to the Pearl Market in Beijing I went with a list of items that folks wanted me to pick up. I still think I forgot some people and if I did, I apologize. If I didn't get an email before I left, the request wasn't on the list. My brain was too fried and overloaded to remember anything that wasn't written down. Here's a pile of what I brought back.
The next day we stopped at a government pearl store and learned how pearls were cultivated. I hadn't planned on buying anything, but I found a unique setting that I couldn't resist. I have had so many compliments on it on the trip.
At the Wall, I found a jade elephant that was just calling me. I remember my grandfather always drawing elephants when I was little. This one had it's nose up in the air and was extremely translucent (a good quality for jade). It reminded me of him so I had to have it.
I bought the following at the cloisonne factory. It is very tame compared to the other pieces on sale, but it had all the deep blues that I love.
Next up are my purchases from the jade factory. I hadn't planned on buying a thing there, but thought I'd check out jewelry anyway. Dumb move. Turns out I found a ring that I really liked that was made of lavender jade. Unfortunately, lavender jade is the highest quality jade and thus costs a lot more. Still, it's what I liked and I knew I'd regret it later if I didn't buy it.
It's a simple setting, but I really liked it. Then, after buying a bunch of jade animals and Buddhas, I found the following dragon and decided to buy it for my "art collection."
As if that wasn't enough. At the temple that housed the Jade Buddha, I saw a folk artist making these beautiful paintings. He didn't paint these w/ his brush but with the side of his hand. I loved them so I bought 2. One might be a gift. I haven't decided yet.
At the Wild Goose Pagoda, I bought the following bracelet made of red agate. It is a Dzi bracelet that is for good luck. It has been blessed by 100 (or was it 1,000?) Buddhist monks and is specific to those born in the year of the Rabbit, Goat or Pig (me). The pattern is called a Money Hook Dzi.
At the silk factory in Shanghai, I purchased a robe, some pillow covers, and a queen-sized comforter. Now I need to go out and buy a new duvet cover. :-)