Although jade ware were not the predominant artifacts collected by the imperial palace during the Song and Qing dynasties, they were frequently mentioned in Emperor Qianlong's poems. Over the course of his life, Emperor Qianlong had written numerous poems, which he later ordered his civil officials to compile and catalogue. In 1976, the National Palace Museum released the Emperor Qianlong Poetry and Prose Set (in 10 volumes and published as photocopies of the Palace Editions), where the poetry and prose set subsequently became materials commonly used by scholars to engage in related research endeavors.
According to investigations (on the poetry and poems written by all Qing dynasty emperors) performed by scholars, they found that Emperor Qianlong was the author of 1,035 prose and 30,908 poems. Jade ware such as "Chinese jade," "ancient jade," and "old jade" were considered to feature designs or motifs of interest to Emperor Qianlong if they were successfully used in the titles of poems or prose written by the emperor. The considerable number said poems and prose unveils his perceptions on ancient jade.
The emergence of science and technology in the twentieth century allows science-based archeology to be practiced, revealing the development of ancient jade spanning thousands of years. By learning about the development of ancient jade as well as examining unearthed jade ware and those engraved with poems, people can determine Emperor Qianlong's accurate and inaccurate perceptions of ancient jade.