In view of such Chinese sacrifices the names of the dead are inscribed on wooden plaques called spirit-tablets, into which the spirits are during the ceremony supposed to enter, having quitted the very heaven and presence of God in order to commune with posterity.
The larger plaques are richly ornamented with emeralds and sapphires, and the smaller plaques have each an enamelled figure of Our Lord, David, Solomon, and Hezekiah respectively.
The badges of the other four classes are round plaques, the first three with indented edges, the last plain; in the second class the dragons are in silver on a yellow and gold ground, the jewel is a cut coral; the grades differ in the colour, shape, &c., of the borders and indentations; in the third class the dragons are gold, the ground green, the jewel a sapphire; in the fourth the silver dragons are on a blue ground, the jewel a lapis lazuli; in the fifth green dragons on a silver ground, the jewel a pearl.
The richest ornamentation was applied to the arches and string courses, while plaques of sculpture, roundels and coats of arms adorned the facades.
They no longer devote themselves to the manufacture of sword ornaments, but work rather at vases, censers, statuettes, plaques, boxes and other objects of a serviceable or ornamental nature.