What is a Chinese Ruyi Scepter?

In Chinese culture, the Ruyi Scepter has a long history not only as a congratulatory gift, but also as a symbol of authority. In China, the term Ruyi is a homophone for “As you wish” or “As you desire,” making the gift of a Ruyi Scepter a way to convey wishes for good luck or congratulations, often for auspicious birthdays or significant promotions. On September 7, Freeman’s will host its autumn Asian Arts auction. Among the highlights of the nearly 650-lot sale are an assortment of Chinese Ruyi Scepters, including Lot 328, an elaborately carved example from the Qing Dynasty (estimate: $10,000-15,000), and Lot 213, of parcel-gilt cloisonné from the Qianlong period (estimate: $5,000-7,000).