Search results for: ""god of longevity""

god of longevity W100xD80xH200mm, China

This is a figurine is that of the God of Longevity, he is holding a longevity peach that just one bite of it will make one immortal.

Click here to see the god of longevity’s relation with astronomy,
history and
his cane.

W200xD100xH250mm, China

Although the god of longevity originated from the stars, his large and elongated brain has nothing to do with the alien and the outer space.  The form of his head is associated with longevity, like that of  the mystical bird, the red crown crane (grus japonensis).  The red crown crane lives to 50-60 years old  which is consider to be very long when the average life span of birds are about 10-15 years.  Another association is queen mother god’s longevity peach which the plant only flower and bear once 3000 years.  Combining both of these longevity forms his head took on the exaggerated shape.

Click  to see our clay and stone version.

W40xD20xH120mm, China

This is a figurine of the God of Longevity in an early post.  You might notice that he is always carrying a long cane; this cane came from the state banquet held for all the OAP (the 70+) in the East Han dynasty.  The emperor had the cane specially made for all those who attended the party, the cane symbolized the privileges that were awarded to the elderly.  The head of the cane was decorated with a turtledove thus its called a turtledove cane.

L160xW50xH160mm, China

This clay toy is of the god of  longevity who began his legend as Canopus, the brightest star  in the southern constellation of Carina and Argo Navis.  In the Qin dynasty, temples were erected for the worship of  the Canopus star, it is believed that when the star shines brightly the world would be peaceful and vice versa.  Canopus is also known as the “elderly star”, apart from peace, it also upheld the ethic of the respect for the elders.  In the East Han dynasty, the ceremony for Canopus worship consist of a stately banquet that included all the over 70, nobleman and commoners.

Besides the astronomy aspect, the god of longevity also has a human figure, Peng Zu.  Legend has it that Peng Zu has mastered the art of longevity and lived to an age of  767 years old!

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W370 X H390mm, China

This wood block print entitled, “The 8 Immortal’s birthday celebration“.

We are familiar with the phrase
壽比南山, 福如東海
life being as grand as the Mount Nanshan, fortune as deep as the Donghai ocean.

The original version of the couplet is presented on the 2 side of the print and should read as;
壽比南山不老松, 福如東海長流水
life is as long as the immortal pine tree in Mount Nanshan, fortune as fulfilling as ever lasting stream in the Donghai ocean

In the prints are the 8 Immortals; (from 12 o’clock going clockwise are) the God of Longevity, Zhong Li Quan (with the palm leave fan), Royal Uncle Cao Guo Jiu (with castanets), Elder Zhang Guo Lao, Immortal lady He Zian Gu (with magic lotus), Philosopher Han Xiang Zi,  Lan Cai He (with magic basket),  Iron-Crutch Tie Guai Li, Leader Lu Dong Bin (with sword).  Click here to see the symbolism of the magic tools.

Come to see the actual print and many others at the
New Year Print Exhibition

MOUNTAIN FOLKCRAFT
CHINESE WOOD BLOCK PRINT COLLECTION

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W370 X H650mm, China

The recent generations of the Chinese are familiar with the Gods – Fu Lu Shou, the trio that stood in the prime location of the living room almost like an alter piece.  Its only recently that I discovered that they are no a trio but a group of five!  Nowadays rarely seen together, the five are made up of Fu, Lu, Shou, Xi and Cai.

Fu – God of Blessing – dressed in red robe holding large “ru yi” scepter
Lu – God of Fortune – holding a decree from the Emperor
Shou – God of Longevity – old man holding cane and peach
Xi – God of Happiness – holding a kid
Cai – God of Wealth – holding golden ingot

In this print, the trio are Fu in the middle with Shou on the right and Xi on the left.

Come to see the actual print and many others at the
New Year Print Exhibition

MOUNTAIN FOLKCRAFT
CHINESE WOOD BLOCK PRINT COLLECTION

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W560xH340mm, China

Every year on the birthday of the Queen Mother of the West, 3rd of lunar March, there will be a peach party and all the saints will be invited and feast on special peaches.  A bite of these magic peaches will make one immortal but there are extremely rare, they take 3000 years to flower, 3000 to bare fruits and another 3000 years to ripe.

In the middle of the wood block print is the Queen Mother with two of female saints by her sides.  Below, holding a bowl full of peaches is the Monkey King who mischievously stole some of the peaches.  On the left side of the Monkey King is the God of longevity with his deer on the Monkey’s right.  The crane by the God of longevity is saint Dong Fang Shuo who was so obsessed with tasting the magic peaches that he turned into a crane in order to be nearer to the peach. The 8 saints joining the party are Eight Immortals –  from (left to right, top to bottom) are Philosopher Han Xiang Zi (with the xiao pipe), Philosopher Han Xiang Zi, Lan Cai He (with magic basket), Leader Lu Dong Bin (with sword), Royal Uncle Cao Guo Jiu (with castanets),  Iron-Crutch Tie Guai Li,  Immortal lady He Zian Gu (with magic lotus) and Elder Zhang Guo Lao.  Click here to see the symbolism of the magic tools.

This word block print will make an ideal birthday present.

Come to see the actual print and many others at the
New Year Print Exhibition

MOUNTAIN FOLKCRAFT
CHINESE WOOD BLOCK PRINT COLLECTION

golden wood carving

L230xD30xH90mm, China

This golden wood carving makes a perfect birthday present.

The four figurines are full of blessing, Fu Lu Shou and Ma Gu.  They are all Taoist saints, representing blessings and happiness.

Fu (far right) – the planet Jupiter which was also attributed to Yang Cheng of the West Han period.  Yang, after being nominated to be the Daozhou official, abolished the practice of present contribution to the Emperor, relieving the stain for the people and therefore seen as a blessing.

Lu (left of Fu) – god of prosperity.  The stars Ursa Majoris humanized as Zhang Xian of the Shu dynasty, a brave general who was respected by the Emperor and worshiped by the people.

Shou (left of Lu) – god of longevity.  The stars of Canopus, translated as Peng Zu who is believed to have livd to an age of 767!!

Lady (at the far left) is Ma Gu, goddess of longevity – with the appearance still being in her teens, she has witnessed 3 times the sea turned into fields (judging its not from any dramatic climatic changes, she has been around for a long long time).  Her immortality and her yearly birthday tribute to the Queen Mother of the West is seen as a blessing and so Ma Gu is a popular subject for pritns, figurines, embroidery and alike.

wood block printW600xL1750mm, China

This birthday print is filled with blessing symbols –

God of Longevity who is holding a cane on one hand and the Buddha’s hand fruit on the other hand.
The lady of behind is Ma Gu, the female God of Longevity with a basket full of magical plants.  Unlike the God of Longevity who has an appearance of an old man with a protruding forehead, Ma Gu is portrayed as a beautiful girl in her late teens.  In the legend, every year on the 3rd of lunar March, on the birthday of the Queen Mother of the West, Ma Gu will give her best wishes.
Lastly, the child saint carrying a basket full of longevity peaches, also a well known theme for birthday blessings.

Unlike the birthday scroll being a respectable birthday present for the elderly lady that would be held around birthday time, this is a Mian Zhu new year print that is pasted on the wall on Chinese New Year and to be replaced yearly.

8 immortalsDIA165mm, China

The figurines on this necklace used to be the ornaments of a child’s hat.  A special hat would be made for the child’s birth, 100 days celebration and the first birthday.  The hat is seen as a blessing for the child, depending on the gender, family social status, the design of the hat varies.

The gold plated enamel ornaments would have belongs to a hat of a wealth family.  The 9 figurines are the 8 Immortals (one either side) + the god of Longevity (in the middle).  The 8 Immortals are; Iron-Crutch Tie Guai Li, Philosopher Han Xiang Zi, Elder Zhang Guo Lao, Lan Cai He, Immortal Woman He Zian Gu, Leader Lu Dong Bin, Han Zhong Li and Royal Uncle Cao Guo Jiu, they are Taoist saints who are not very powerful and have a few human frailties.  One of the many stories of the 8 Immortals is about their birthday wishes for the Queen Mother of the West and thus the appearance is associated with birthdays and blessings.

Here is a clip from the Xiang opera “8 Immortals birthday wishes for the Queen Mother of the West”

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