"Dragon and Phoenix Treasure Money" 龍鳳錢馬(龍鳳寶錢) - ROM2018_16344_19


"Dragon and Phoenix Treasure Money" 龍鳳錢馬(龍鳳寶錢)

Medium:Woodblock print, ink on paper
Geography: Sichuan, China
Period: Republic of China, 1912-1949
Ht 76 x Wt 48 cm
Object number: 969.168.4
Not on view

In this print, the upper section of the print consists of four Chinese characters: Dragon, Phoenix, Treasure, and Money (long feng bao qian 龍鳳寶錢). The lower part has two sections. The top section depicts a dragon and a phoenix dancing in the clouds. Above the phoenix is the sun, while above the dragon is a glowing pearl. The section below depicts a foreigner wearing a pointed hat and an ethnic costume. He carries a coral in one hand and touches the elephant’s nose and tusks with the other hand. The elephant carries treasures on its back. The figure represents a foreign trader who is thought to be good at doing business. The motifs in these two sections are called “dragon and phoenix bring prosperity” (longfeng chengxiang 龍鳳呈祥) and “every time here comes the wealth” (huihui jinbao 回回進寶; huihui has the connotation of “every time” and Hui people).1 These motifs indicate people’s wishes for auspiciousness and wealth. Under the characters long feng bao qian, two copper coins are depicted; the characters are too blurry to identify. However, based on Picture B, the left one reads, “the son of heaven rules ten thousand years” (tianzi wannian 天子萬年), and the right one reads, “ten thousand treasures come to the court” (wanbao laichao 萬寶來朝). The reverse side of each coin is shown at the bottom of the picture. The border of the picture is in a crossed-twill pattern upon which are eight types of auspicious patterns: panchang 盤長, book and sword, rhino horn, calligraphy and painting, bergamot, ruyi, ganoderma, and a silver ingot with pen. The four corners are decorated with floral patterns.

1 Laing, “Yuwai laicai, yingcaishen he facai huanjia,” 108–22.

Publication: Wen-Chien Cheng, and Yanwen Jiang. Gods in my home: Chinese ancestor portraits and popular prints (Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 2019), 172-173.

If you see an error or have additional information, please contact us by clicking here.