Pictorial Charm

About this object

History of use

Probably used for hanging or display. Although charms of the same design are distributed to tourists as souvenirs at religious sites of contemporary China, these magic spell charms were probably put to serious use in ancient society. People in need of healing or supernatural help to turn their fortune around plead with the Daoist practitioners to draw the attention of the powerful deities, specifically the Thunder God and Taishang Laojun (Lao-tzu). After the ritual performance, the charm bearing the magic spell would be presented to the individual in need as an amulet.

Physical description

Round charm, round centre hole, inner and outer rims on both sides, characters and design on obverse, pictorial design on reverse; many characters in regular and seal script, design on obverse; pictorial design including figure and tree in holder on reverse.