Pictorial Charm

About this object

History of use

Probably used for hanging or display (Larson, David). Likely displayed on festive occasions such as: New Year, birthdays, etc. (Li, Min).

Iconographic meaning

The image on the reverse represents the theme "immortal Liu Hai playing with a golden toad" together with bat, peach, and eight treasures (precious objects). The story of Liu Hai has been a popular theme in wedding and New Year decoration since the Song Dynasty. Transforming from Daoist legend to an icon of folk culture, it symbolizes happiness and prosperity for the family (Ma, 1992, 30-32).

Physical description

Round, round centre hole, inner and outer rims on both sides, eight characters and design on obverse, design on reverse; eight characters and eight precious objects around charm on obverse; pictorial design including bat, frog, peaches and figure skipping on reverse.