Posted by Imperial Harvest on 01 December 2023
Estimated Reading Time: 4 mins
Throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties, successive emperors patronised the Temple of Earth, making offerings and tributes to the God of Earth in gratitude for the empire’s prosperity. These imperial rituals, usually conducted during the peaks of each season, were thought to have catalysed the empire’s abundance, prosperity and growth.
The Temple of Earth is the second largest of the four temples of Beijing, boasting a rich history that dates back to the Ming dynasty (1368 to 1644 AD). Covering a sprawling 40 hectares beyond Beijin’s second ring road, the complex holds significant importance as one of China’s key historical landmarks.
In a spiritual interconnection with the Temple of the Moon (月坛), Temple of the Sun (日坛), and Temple of Heaven (天坛), the Temple of Earth completes a quartet of sacred imperial sites. These four temples served as crucial locations for ritual worship by the reigning Chinese emperors.
The construction of the Temple of Earth was completed in the 4th lunar month of 1531. Emperor Jiajing of the Ming dynasty marked a historic moment during the 5th Lunar month of the same year by conducting an inaugural Summer Solstice ceremony at the Temple of Earth. This ceremony aimed to worship the God of Earth, seeking optimal rainfall and a bountiful harvest in the upcoming autumn.
Similarly to the construction of the Temple of Heaven, the construction of the Temple of Earth was guided and designed according to rigorous Imperial Feng Shui principles — as dictated by the arrangement of the Early Heaven Bagua (先天八卦).
According to the Early Heaven Bagua, the Qian Trigram (乾卦) — symbolising Heaven — is situated in the South. The Kun Trigram (坤卦), symbolising Earth, is located in the North. Consequently, the placement of the Temple of Earth in the Northern part of Beijing is a deliberate acknowledgement of Earth’s association with the North direction.
The primary altar of the Temple of Earth is known as the Fangze Temple and was specifically designed to offer tributes to the God of Earth. Encompassing an area of nearly 18,000 square metres, the complex is square and surrounded by water channels. This unique configuration embodies the ancient Chinese philosophy, “天圆地方” or “Round Heaven and Square Earth”. Adhering to Imperial Chinese tradition, each of the main buildings within the Temple of Earth is uniformly enclosed by square walls.
Today, the structures surrounding the Temple of Earth retain their significance, representing the Temple of Earth as a sacred site for prayer, particularly for bountiful harvests.
A celebration of more than 490 years since the first inaugural imperial rituals to be held at the esteemed Temple of Earth, Imperial Harvest’s Bliss of Harvest: Temple of Earth edition pays homage to the significance of the temple in our rich Imperial Feng Shui heritage and traditions.
To achieve the collection’s distinctive contrast between the matte and high-shine textures featured across the collection, skilled engravers employ Tremblant engraving and guilloching techniques.
Using a burin, skilled artisans meticulously create a granular surface overlaying each square tile, resulting in a sharp distinction from the glossy rim. Imperial Harvest’s experienced guillochéurs manually engineer the guilloching process, ensuring top consistency by rotating and orienting the ring personally. The guillochéur applies varying pressure to advance the ring against a customised cutter, methodically chiselling each engraving onto the ring.
This dedication to design excellence blends inspirations and techniques from both East and West, producing Imperial Feng Shui treasures suitable for daily wear in our cosmopolitan society.
(Singapore Design Patent No. 30202109344X)
This ring features the Cloud-de-Paris guilloched hobnail pattern and is reminiscent of the Temple of Earth’s roof. Resembling the diamond-shaped roof with small pyramid knobs, the ring features a four-sided pattern, hand-polished to perfection for a satin-brush and mirror-polish contrast. The matte rim and meticulously textured bas-relief-inspired band contribute to perfect symmetry from any angle, creating an elegant and harmonious design.
(Singapore Design Patent No. 30202109346Q)
Showcasing a handcrafted square-tiled surface, this ring draws its inspiration from the square-themed architectural layout of the Temple of Earth. In line with the Chinese philosophy of “天圆地方”, the ring features a smooth jadeite cabochon at its centre on the square-tiled band. The eight pairs of angular protrusions along the band symbolise the sturdy pillars supporting the Temple of Earth’s structure, with a high-shine mirror finish adding a modern touch to the temple’s architectural strength.
(Singapore Design Patent No. 30202109345W)
The ring boasts a captivating diamond-studded band, carefully crafted to mirror the intricate patterns found in the gates surrounding the hallowed temple. Each diamond is meticulously set, symbolising the precision and attention to detail observed in the temple’s construction. The eight pairs of angular protrusions along the band further pay homage to the Temple of Earth’s sturdy pillars, harmoniously blending traditional symbolism with a modern touch through the high-shine mirror finish.
(Singapore Design Patent No.30202109342P)
The Bliss of Harvest Temple of Earth ring exudes understated elegance, harmonising with the lustrous jadeite cabochon to establish a captivating interplay between sophistication and natural beauty. With its refined design and profound symbolism, this ring becomes a conduit for the wearer to manifest the timeless values and prosperity associated with the Temple of Earth’s legacy.
Imperial Harvest’s expert consultants are always on hand to guide you on your journey and provide you with insights to help you realise your fullest potential. Book a complimentary consultation today or contact us at +65 91221826.
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