This rare ivory carving of an empress with her attendant is a late 19th century product. It is 9” high (with a fitted hardwood carved base, it is 10 ½” high), 2 ¾” wide and 2 1/8” deep (both measured from bottom). This image depicts a story told in traditional Chinese opera and classical literature about a beautiful young noble woman, Yang YuHuan (楊 玉 環) who lived from 719 to 756 A. D. She married the seventh emperor, Xuanzong (唐 玄 宗), of the Tang Dynasty and was given a title GuiFei 貴 妃 (precious empress or concubine). She was extremely beautiful and talented. Though the emperor loved her dearly, still she sometimes felt alone and neglected. The story goes that one evening she was drinking alone with only her loyal attendant Gao LiShi (高 力 士) beside her. She was drinking, singing, dancing and crying. Her attendant held a tray with a wine cup and knelt near her begging her to stop drinking. This piece depicts GuiFei holding a RuYi scepter in her left hand while her attendant, Gao LiShi, carries a tray beside her. Aside from some hair line cracks due to age, it is in excellent condition.