The decorative arts of China date mostly from the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) and include almost 950 snuff bottles of all kinds, a rare group of seventeen jade books, most of them made for the Qing Qianlong Emperor (r. 1736-95) and textiles and robes including seven dragon robes.
There are also a number of books - including three volumes of the sixteenth-century recension of the Great Encyclopaedia of the Yongle Era (Yongle dadian, 1406) - some 250 painted scrolls and albums and woodblock prints and engravings.
The collection of prints and engravings includes several sets designed for the Qianlong Emperor by his European Jesuit court artists.
As many of these pictures were, in fact, engraved and printed in Paris, they are shared with the Library's Western Collection.
The Qianlong Emperor's jade books are considered singular examples within Chinese art history.