May you enjoy wealth and prestige to a ripe old age

白头富贵 (富贵白头)

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Pun Design:

Chinese bulbul + Peony

Punning Details

– ‘bai tou 白头 white-headed’, of ‘bai tou weng 白头翁 Chinese bulbul’ (the white-headed-old-chap bird) can imply a ripe old age;

– ‘fu gui 富贵’ in ‘fu gui hua 富贵花 peony’ literally, the ‘flower of wealth and prestige’, which is a nickname of ‘mu dan 牡丹 peony’

Therefore, the motif combination of Chinese bulbul and peony expresses the good wish to the recipient to enjoy wealth and prestige to a ripe old age.

Bai Tou Fu Gui 白头富贵’ is interchangeable with ‘Fu Gui Bai Tou 富贵白头’.


画面要素: 白头翁 + 牡丹

谐音详情: 取‘白头翁’中‘白头’, 意为‘年长, 长寿’; 牡丹别名‘富贵花’, 取‘富贵花’中‘富贵’二字


Related Pun Pictures:

May the length of your life be eternally prolonged 海屋添筹

May you do well in exams and enjoy wealth and prestige 功名富贵


Further Reading:

Appreciation of a top-tier qianlong falangcai vase with red-whiskered bulbul decoration


Fig 1: Bai Tou Fu Gui 白头富贵图, hanging scroll, ink and colour on paper, Yun Shouping (1633–1690), courtesy of Beijing Tiangui Renshun Auctions, 2021, Lot 261

Fig 2: famille rose bottle-shaped flask, Yongzheng period (1723–35), Qing dynasty, courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum, PDF. 824

Fig 3: famille rose porcelain vase, Yongzheng period (1723–35), Qing dynasty, courtesy of The Guimet Museum, Paris, photograph by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra.

Fig 4: porcelain jar with underglaze blue decoration, Guangxu period (1875–1908), Qing dynasty, courtesy of Mu Qing (2010), Qing Porcelain from Folk Kiln, Hebei People’s Publishing

Fig 5: Fu Gui Bai Tou 富贵白头图, hanging scroll, ink and colour on paper, Qi BaiShi (1864–1957), courtesy of Beijing Poly Auction, 21 April 2012

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