Pictorial Charm

About this object

History of use

Probably used for hanging or display, serving the same purpose as in Edz4187 and Edz4279. It may also have been a Taoist amulet for safe residence.

Iconographic meaning

The naked person might be related to fertility symbolism, as charms with images depicting naked couples in intimate relationship were often given to a newly wedded couple. Another interpretation is that the naked figure was used to prevent fire while the Daoist wrath was to prevent other evil spirits from entering the house (Tsai, 1973, 439). A folk legend has it that the fire goddess was ayoung maid who would shy away when she saw the naked image as she approached the house.

Physical description

A metal male figure squatting on a coin-shaped charm. The charm has designs and characters on the face, and many characters on the reverse. The male figure is naked and wearing a headdress.