May your jade palatial home be honoured and full of riches
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The character ‘yu 玉’ in ‘yulan hua 玉兰花’ for ‘magnolia’ is the same ‘yu 玉’ for ‘jade’. The word ‘tang 棠’ from ‘haitang hua 海棠花’ for ‘crab apple’ is homophonic with the word ‘tang 堂’ for ‘house’. The combination of the two characters ‘yutang 玉堂’ means ‘jade house’ with connotations of being grand and palatial.
The peony flower, known in Chinese as ‘mudan hua 牡丹花’, has a nickname of ‘fugui hua 富贵花’, literally, the ‘flower of wealth and prestige’.
Therefore, a composition of blooms of magnolia, crab apple, and peony can be used to convey the auspicious wish of ‘May your jade palatial home be honoured and full of riches!’
Related Pun Picture:
Fig 1-3: porcelain bowl, Yongzheng period (1723-35), Qing dynasty, courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei
Fig 4-6: porcelain dish with overglaze enamelled decoration, Yongzheng period (1723-35), courtesy of Christie’s auction NY 2021
Fig 7-8: porcelain snuff-bottle, Qianlong period (1736-95), Qing dynasty, courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei
Fig 9: porcelain dish, Yongzheng period (1723-35), Qing dynasty, courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei
Fig 10: copper vase with enamelled decoration, Kangxi period (1662-1722), courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei
Fig 11: scroll painting 《玉堂富贵》, ink and colour on paper, by Qi Baishi (齐白石, 1864-1957), 1936, courtesy of National Art Museum of China