Archives for posts with tag: kirin


This cute looking creature is a kirin, a mythical animal, it has the head of a horse, a pair of horns, a body full of scale and the tail of a dragon.  It is kind, peace loving, for this gentle nature, it is often portrayed to be riding on clouds or waves and not treading over the delicate grass.  The kirin lives in the sky and only one rare occasions will visit human, bringing along good fortune, thus seen as a good omen.

Click to see our other cookie moulds and kirins.


silver brooch

W90xH70mm, Hong Kong

This smart silver brooch is made from an original kirin boy pendant, a blessing pendant for the child.  Legend had it that the kirin delivered the baby Confucius to  his parents; by putting on the figurine of the kirin boy, the parents hope that their child will also turn out to be as bright as the scholar Confucius.



For the celebration of the arrival of 2013, the Something Old Something New jewellery collection brings you the lucky blessing of the kirin boy.  The kirin, a mystical creature which the Chinese believe to have magical power, it also took on the role of the stork for delivery babies.  This role was attributed to the kirin from the legend of Confucius at the time before he was born; one night a kirin with a scroll in his mouth appeared in front of his parents’ house, the scroll, an announcement from heaven, has the words “he will be a wise man with good morality, though he does not have a throne, he has the virtue of a king”.  The next morning, the kirin disappeared and Confucius was born, sine then the kirin is associated with delivering babies with talents.  The kirin boy pendent, like the long life locket is a special blessing for the child wearing it.

Here is the “making off”, featuring an antique kirin boy silver pendent.

kirin boy 3

W50xL120xH50mm, China

Its really a surprise to find this tin toy, it is intriguing in a couple of sense.  First, thought China has been a major manufacturer or tin toy since the 1920s, the design of the toy has broadly based on the original western themes (robots, cars, ships, objects which for the Chinese would have been deemed western).  This toy, a lion, has departed from the normal tin toy design.  For those who has seen a lion (photo, on telly, zoo or safari) would have said that this look at best a silly green monster and nothing like a lion at all.  This however has all the features a Chinese lion would have.

Now for the second surprise; there are no lions in China (not naturally there).  The idea of lion come together with Buddhism as an animal of power, the lion is as mythical as the kirin.  Since there are no lions, the Chinese do not see it as a predictor but as a protector against evil.  They can be seen guarding the front doors, on the ridge of a building, lion dances for New Year.  So fond of it that the male lion will normally been given a xiu qiu to play with.

W130xD50xH230mm, China

This figurine is a Shou Shan stone carving, the Shou Shan stone is famous for its wealth of colours, the artist would made use of the colour to form the composition of the carving work, all the carvings are one off piece of artwork.

The warrior of this carving is riding on a Kirin (yes, its the same mythical creature as on the beer can) with bats accompanying them.  The Kirin (together with the Phenoix, the turtle and the dragon) is believed by the Chinese to be one of the four old saintly creatures.  Its a creature of heaven and not of the earth, those that were captured by the gods became their carriage (as on this figurine).  The Kirin has the head of a dragon, horns of a deer, eyes of a lion, the body of a tiger, the scale of fish, but despite this fierce appearance it is a kind creature and believe to an animal of blessing.  As for the bats, they are also a symbol of blessing for the Chinese but as we all know what they look like I wont go into details in this post.

Here is a story about the bat and the kirin from the Ming dynasty which i find quite amusing; one day the Phoenix held a birthday party, as she was the queen of the birds all the birds from everywhere came to wish her happy birthday.  The bat, however, did not show up.  The Phoenix, being the queen, was not please at all, so she summoned for the bat and asked, “you live under my rule, where are you so arrogant and did not come when invited?”  The bat answered, “I have craws, I am a beast, why should I pay my respect to a bird?”  Then the Kirin held his birthday party and the bat did not show up, the Kirin was angry and condemned the bat, the bat answered, “I have wings, a bird, why should I come to a beast party?”  Then the Phoenix and the Kirin met up and of course the bat incident came up in their conservation, “what a world this is coming to that there is such non bird non beast creature, how frustration is that.”  As time moves on from the Ming Dynasty, I feel that the bats now would claim to be a bird in front of the Phoenix and a beast in front of the Kirin, a fence sitter in all sense.

%d bloggers like this: