May you have three promotions continuously!
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A variation of 平升三级 ping sheng san ji (May you have three successive promotions unexpectedly) is 连升三级 lian sheng san ji. The design has kept the old element of three ji halberds but added a new motif, the lotus flower. The character for the halberd is 戟 ji, which puns on 级 ji for ‘official grade or rank’ and three halberds stand for ‘three official ranks’. The character for the lotus is 莲 lian, which sounds the same as the word 连 lian for ‘continuously’. Thus, this combination of objects is used to express the good wish ‘May you have three promotions continuously!’
Related Pun Picture:
Fig 1: brush pot (detail), Qing dynasty (1644-1911), courtesy of Tokyo National Museum
Fig 2: porcelain snuff-bottle with underglaze blue decoration, Qing dynasty (1644-1911), courtesy of Palace Museum, Beijing