May each generation of your family be made life peers


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Pun Design:

Carrying on the Back + Monkey

Punning Details:

– ‘bei 背’ for ‘carrying on the back’ makes a pun on ‘bei 辈’ for ‘generation’

– ‘hou 猴’ from ‘hou zi 猴子’ for ‘monkey’ puns on ‘hou 侯’ for ‘marquis’

Therefore, the image of a monkey on the back of another monkey is used to express a good wish that the receiver’s family members are bestowed titles of marquis generation after generation.


画面要素: 背 + 猴

谐音详情: 动作‘背’与‘辈’谐音,意为:世世代代;‘猴’与‘侯’谐音,是帝国时代爵位体系中的第二等爵位


Related Pun Pictures:

May you be bestowed the title of a marquis presently 马上封侯

May promotion be yours; May you advance in official rank 加官晋爵


Fig 1: jade carving, 10th-11th century, Liao dynasty, from Filippo Salviati (2004), The Language of Adornment: Chinese Ornaments of Jade, Crystal, Amber and Glass, Myrna Myers publishing.

Fig 2-3: white jade carving, 18th century, courtesy of Christie’s Auction House, New York, 21 Sept 2023, Lot 825

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