A Boy Beckoning Auspiciousness and Happiness

To the

Measuring about 4 x 6.5 cm, this Shoushan stone carving is a boy holding a half-opened bamboo basket, in which a bat is showing its face. A lotus leaf serves as a floor mat and a back-support for the boy.

The Chinese characters for happiness or auspiciousness (fu) and bat the flying mammal (fu) are homophones. That is, the two characters are pronounced identically. Bats therefore appear frequently in Chinese decorative designs. Here the boy seems to be beckoning "fu" to the household.


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From the Gardener. Canada, June 2006. Updated May 2019.