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:
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