Sunday, May 26, 2013


Period: Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911).
Date: 18th to 19th century.
Medium: Nephrite jade.
Colour: Light green and russet.
Dimensions: H. 20 cm., W. 18 cm., D. 8 cm.

The carving is beautifully executed showing a large and a small citron together. Each is hollowed out to show the finger-like tendrils of the fruit twisting and curling. The thick rind of the fruit shows the rough pitted surface.  A cricket sits on the top -- crickets are much admired for their songs.

The citron belongs to the citrus family. It is known by the Chinese name of foshou which literally means “Buddha's Hand”. It is one of the “three abundances” and symbolises happiness and longevity. The other two are the peach and the pomegranite. The peach or tao symbolises marriage, spring, justice and Daoist immortality. The pomegranate or shiliu represents fertility, offspring and descendants.