A chair seat, or seating ‘pillow’ cover, probably made in the Suiyuan region with elaborate borders and a center field which depicts five bats – the ‘Wu Fu’ or ‘five blessings’ – surrounding the central Shou design, which itself is a Chinese symbol for longevity. This design could thus be interpreted as bestowing on it’s owner the five blessings and a long life (see more below under ‘symbolism‘). Small area of pile wear as shown. Soft glossy wool.
FULL CARPET DESCRIPTION TEXT STILL TO ADD
SYMBOLISM: How a bat is depicted actually contributes to its meaning, which is typically delivered through wordplay. The Chinese word for bat is “fu” and the word for happiness is also pronounced “fu”. In Chinese culture a group of five bats holds auspicious meaning, known as Wu Fu or Five Blessings; which are health, long life, prosperity, love of virtue, and a tranquil natural death. Often – as on this carpet – they are depicted encircling a stylised calligraph known as the ‘Shou’ symbol, which is the Chinese symbol for longevity.