China last emperor pocket watch

Priceless jewellery belonging to China’s last emperor Puyi and his wife Wanrong on loan from China are on display in Taiwan for the first time.

The National Palace Museum in Taipei is showcasing 70 pieces of the imperial couple’s jewellery as part of a special exhibition titled “Royal Style” that runs till September.

The jewels are on loan from northeast China’s Shenyang Palace Museum, in a sign of improving ties between Taiwan and China since the island’s Beijing-friendly government came to power in 2008.

They are the first objects the Taipei museum will exhibit belonging to the couple, who took valuables with them when they left The Forbidden City in Beijing in the 1920s after the Qing Dynasty was overthrown.

Noted items include an emerald pendant Wanrong wore at her wedding and a pearl hair pin in the shape of a phoenix, symbol of an empress, and a pocket watch Puyi had when he was taken to the Soviet Union as a prisoner in 1945.

The Forbidden City served as the imperial palace of the Qing Dynasty and provided the setting for the 1987 Oscar-winning film “The Last Emperor” based on the turbulent lives of Puyi and Wanrong.