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Gift ideas -- arts, literature, books for children; Treasures of 'Forbidden City'; The Palace Museum: Peking. Text by Wan-go Weng, essay by Yang Boda. New York: Harry N. Abrams. 319 pp. $65.

If you're a scholar or enthusiast of Chinese art and history, this book speaks your language. With over 400 illustrations (160 in color) this ambitious presentation of the huge historical range of the Palace Museum treasures will serve well both old China hands and armchair travelers. Many pieces are shown for the first time in the West, including some too fragile for public display even in the museum itself.

The text describes in essay and photography the Forbidden City, which has 70 major buildings and 9,000 palatial rooms, containing more than 1 million works of art. All categories of art found in the museum from architecture to embroidery, as well as parts of the 7,000-man ceramic army unearthed near the tomb of China's first emperor, are shown.

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