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This month we are Embracing the Pit, as in eating Tassos® unpitted Olives, but perhaps the best way to feature the love of the whole olive is to feature the person that may have loved the olive pit above all others.

Miniature Olive Pit Sculpture




Chinese artist Ch'en Tsu-chang crafted this miniature masterfully Carved Olive-Stone Boat sculpture from an olive pit in 1737.

This sculpture is on display at the National Palace Museum in Taipei City, Taiwan.

A mere 1.34 inches in length and 0.63 inches tall, this miniature artwork follows the shape of the pit and depicts a small boat:

  • with eight figures, each with their own unique expressions.
  • intricate details on the doors and the inside of the vessel defy the size of the working surface. 
  • and with interior features of chairs and dishes, and the windows are also moveable.


 According to the National Palace Museum of China, Tsu-chang's handiwork is based on the poet Su Shih's Latter Ode on the Red Cliff. It describes how the author enjoyed a boat ride with his friends under the moonlight sky. To honor this inspiration source, the artist engraved the poem on the bottom of the boat. This amazing addition was no small feat the poem as it is more than 300 characters long and occupies nearly all of its minuscule underside.

Tsu-chang must have eaten many olives to have the stamina and focus to create this one-of-a-kind pieces of art. Olives are an excellent source of gut-friendly fiber and healthy fats that power our blood, cardiovascular, and cell health while also supporting our hormones and nervous system. Olives offer vitamin E to strengthen the brain, skin, and vision; vitamins A and C to support the immune system; and iron to help move oxygen through the body. They even contain beneficial plant compounds that offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. Just like all fruits and veggies, different varieties of olives offer different nutrients. Serving different colors of olives introduces a wider range of flavors and nutrients.


To see more photographs of Carved Olive-Stone Boat go to

 國立故宮博物院>Selections> (npm.edu.tw) National Palace Museum