Gourd

葫芦

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Gourd (葫芦, hu lu) in Chinese is pronounced similar to ‘fu (福, fortune)’ and ‘lu (禄, wealth)’, therefore its image is often used as a pun picture referring fortune and wealth. In order to emphasise the good wish expressed by the image, traditionally the gourd is often presented in combination with bat 蝠, whose pronunciation in Chinese is also fu.

Acknowledgement:

Fig 1: enamel on porcelain vase, Qianlong period (1736-95), Qing dynasty, courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei

Fig 2: porcelain vase, Qianlong period (1736-95), Qing dynasty, courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei

Fig 3: double gourd vase, c.1750-99, courtesy of Rijksmuseum, Holland

Fig 4: double gourd vase, Qianlong period (1736-95), Qing dynasty, courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei

Fig 5: porcelain snuff-bottle, Qianlong period (1736-95), Qing dynasty, courtesy of the British Museum, London

Fig 6: doucai porcelain dish, Qing dynasty (1644-1911), courtesy of China Ceramic Museum, Jingdezhen, Jiangxi, China

Fig 7-8: wooden container, Qing dynasty (1644-1911), courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei

Fig 9: porcelain jar, c.1600-40, courtesy of the British Museum, London

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