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China Perspectives
Chinese Treasure Bowl Charm

Chinese Treasure Bowl Charm


Since ancient times, there have been stories of a magical 芒鈧搕reasure bowl芒鈧?(ju bao pen 猫聛拧氓庐聺莽鈥衡€? that can create unlimited riches, and sometimes great sorrow, for its owner.

While the actual treasure bowl remains to be found, its image has became a popular symbol of good fortune.

This 脗聽is an old Chinese 芒鈧揾anging芒鈧?charm with the inscription ping an ji qing (氓鹿鲁氓庐鈥懊ヂ愨€懊︹€β? which is a simple wish for 芒鈧損eace and happiness芒鈧?

The Chinese characters are beautifully written and stand out prominently against the dark patina of an unadorned field.

Adding to the 芒鈧揷harm芒鈧?of this piece is the loop at the top.脗聽 The loop is actually a dragon.脗聽 The dragon芒鈧劉s head, at the bottom of the loop, is looking back at its two hind legs and tail.

A 芒鈧搕reasure bowl芒鈧?filled with riches is displayed on the reverse side of the charm.脗聽 These valuables are members of the 芒鈧揈ight Treasures芒鈧?(氓鈥βヂ?.

In the very middle of the bowl is a round 芒鈧揻laming pearl芒鈧?(莽聛芦莽聫聽) with its flames extending upwards to the top of the rim.脗聽 The pearl is an ancient symbol of riches but also has the power to grant wishes and is a metaphor for perfection and enlightenment.脗聽 Chinese dragons are often depicted as 芒鈧損laying芒鈧?with a flaming pearl.

To the right and left of the pearl are two smaller round objects, with a square hole in the center, which represent traditional Chinese gold coins (茅鈥♀€樏┾€櫬?.

Directly under each gold coin is a comma-shaped object representing a silver ingot (茅鈥溌睹┾€澛?.脗聽 Silver ingots were used as money particularly during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).

On the side of each gold coin is a branch-like object which is coral (莽聫艩莽鈥樑?.脗聽 Coral symbolizes longevity, and red coral is considered especially auspicious.

The two objects sticking out of the treasure bowl at the 3 o芒鈧劉clock and 9 o芒鈧劉clock positions are rhinoceros horns.脗聽 The rhinoceros horn (莽艩鈧р€? is a visual pun or rebus for 芒鈧揾appiness芒鈧?(氓鈥撆? because both words share the same pronunciation xi.脗聽 A pair of rhino horns represents 芒鈧揹ouble happiness芒鈧?which is a traditional Chinese脗聽 symbol for a happy marriage.

At the very bottom of the pile of treasures, and supporting the pearl and silver ingots, is the lotus.脗聽 The Chinese word for lotus (lian hua 猫沤虏猫艩卤) has the same pronunciation as the word 芒鈧揷ontinuous芒鈧?(lian 猫驴啪).脗聽 The hidden or implied meaning is that the treasures will continue to be produced endlessly.

The treasure bowl itself is decorated with a string of seven 芒鈧揹ots芒鈧?which symbolize the seven-star 芒鈧揃ig Dipper芒鈧?constellation (氓艗鈥斆︹€撯€斆λ溑?.

脗聽

 
   
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