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The Treasure Basin and Money Tree (Yao Qian Shu)

Tags: blessing | print

This is a single piece of decorative painting used on a door. Depicted in the painting is a money tree planted in a treasure pot. Sitting on the tree is a boy and standing on the two sides of the treasure pot are two boys. The money tree bears the auspicious expressions of fu gui chang chun (wealth and perpetual spring) and dui jin ji yu (heaped gold and accumulated jade), written on big pieces of coins. Written on another big piece of coin is Guangxu tong bao (Guangxu circulating coin), thus this painting was probably done in the Guangxu period of Qing Dynasty. Legend has it that in the early Ming Dynasty, a wealthy man named Shen Wansan was very poor when he was young. Once day he picked up an old piece of crockery by chance. When his wife accidentally dropped her silver ring into the pot, all of a sudden the pot was filled with the same kind of silver rings. Shen tested the pot with other things and got the same result every time. From then on, people say Shen acquired a treasure pot. About the money tree, Bing Yuan in the era of the Three Kingdoms would hang on a tree the money he found on the road. Later everyone would follow this act of integrity and do the same; the trees therefore became money trees. These were the origins of the treasure pot and money tree.


41 x25 cm

National Museum of History