Two heroes fighting with their intelligence


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Shuang 双’ is the Chinese word for ‘two’. ‘Xiong 雄’ in ‘Xiong ji 雄鸡’ in the Chinese name for ‘rooster’ makes a pun on ‘xiong 雄’ for ‘hero’. Thus, the image of two roosters in confrontation is meant to represent two competent officials competing with their intelligence for eminent government posts.


Related Pun Pictures:

May you rank among the three top civil servants 位列三公

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

Related motif:

Rooster 公鸡


Fig 1-2: porcelain dishes, Tianqi period (1621-27), Ming dynasty, courtesy of the Stamen Collection

Fig 3: ink and colour on paper, Ming dynasty, Zhou Zhimian (周之冕, 1521-?), courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei

Fig 4: wall vase, Wanli period (1573-1620), Ming dynasty, courtesy of the Museum of East Asian Art (Cologne)

Fig 5: porcelain dish painted in overglaze enamels, Kangxi period (1662-1722), Qing dynasty, courtesy of Victoria & Albert Museum, London

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