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Snuff bottle in the shape of a melon with a butterfly
Place of Origin: China
Date: approx. 1800-1900
Historical Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Object Name: Snuff bottle
Materials: Nephrite
Dimensions: H. 1 15/16 in x W. 1 3/16 in x D. 13/16 in, H. 4.9 cm x W. 3.0 cm x D. 2.1 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Jade And Stones
Object Number: B72M49
On Display: No

Description

Label:

The butterfly (die)---a pun for "little gourds" (die )---and the melon (gua) form a rebus for "ceaseless generations of sons and grandsons." The melon contains many seeds, and the word for vines and tendrils (mandai) sounds like the phrase "ten thousand generations" (wandai), bringing to mind yet another saying: "May you have ten thousand generations of sons and grandsons" (zisun wandai).

HIDDEN MEANING: May you have ceaseless generations of sons and grandsons (guadie mianmian)!


More Information

Exhibition History: Annual Gem and Mineral Show, Hall of Flowers, San Francisco Gem & Mineral Society, Inc., 8/6/1983 - 8/7/1983
Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Art, October 7- December 31, 2006
"Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Art," SFO United Terminal, June 4, 2010 - January 19, 2011
Label:

The butterfly (die)---a pun for "little gourds" (die )---and the melon (gua) form a rebus for "ceaseless generations of sons and grandsons." The melon contains many seeds, and the word for vines and tendrils (mandai) sounds like the phrase "ten thousand generations" (wandai), bringing to mind yet another saying: "May you have ten thousand generations of sons and grandsons" (zisun wandai).

HIDDEN MEANING: May you have ceaseless generations of sons and grandsons (guadie mianmian)!


Exhibition History: Annual Gem and Mineral Show, Hall of Flowers, San Francisco Gem & Mineral Society, Inc., 8/6/1983 - 8/7/1983
Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Art, October 7- December 31, 2006
"Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Art," SFO United Terminal, June 4, 2010 - January 19, 2011