Symbolism

Chinese symbolism dates back well before the first Emperor in 200 BC. So many shapes and details are much more than what appears. A pendant bearing a particular symbol bestows those attributes on the owner of the pendant. The following are the more frequently used emblems.

Current stock pieces incorporating some of the elements shown below can be viewed and purchased in our online shop which can be accessed from the menu above.

Antique celadon jade batBats

Long life and happiness

Spinach jade butterflyButterfly

Joy, longevity and beauty. It can also mean marital happiness

Boxwood netsuke cicada on bambooBamboo, Cicada

Bamboo stands for longevity, courage in adversity, and honesty whilst the cicada symbolises eternal youth. They are often featured together.

 Antique celadon jade catCat

Protection and a wish for longevity

Boxwood netsuke cockerelCockerel

Represents achievement, fame and pride

Jade conch-shellConch-shell

Symbol of royalty, beauty and communication

Antique jade coinsCoins

Prosperity

Antique jade deerDeer

The deer is the only animal able to find the sacred fungus (lingzhi) which gives long life and even immortality

Antique jade bi-discsDonut shape (actually a Bi disc)

Harmony and the spirit of the life force

Antique porcelain shardDouble happiness character

A life full of joy

Brown jade dragonDragon

The dragon is a supernatural creature and is a symbol of power, strength, wisdom, goodness, Imperial dominance and playfulness.  It also stands for good luck and high achievement but also represents the spirit of growth and change.  Above all other attributes, it has a vital spiritual dimension: the dragon is considered to be the ultimate source of cosmic energy, known as “Chi”

White jade duckDuck

Stands for marital fidelity and happiness

Celadon jade eternal knotEternal Knot

An emblem of endless happiness as it is a symbol of the Buddhist path and the thread which guides one to happiness.

Carnelian fishFish

Wealth, abundance and regeneration. As it is content in its habitat, it symbolizes harmony and happiness

Antique white jade goatGoat or sheep

Gentleness, peacefulness and harmony

Antique celadon jade gourdGourd

The double gourd is a symbol of longevity as well as the promise of fruitfulness

Antique celadon jade hareHare

Longevity and agility, it is noted for inhabiting the moon

Antique Chinese ivory horseHorse

Emblem of speed and perseverance. It also signifies high office as only high officials were allowed to ride horses

Apple green jade lion dogLion dog

Protection, fidelity and trustworthiness

White jade lotusLotus

Purity, fruitfulness and perfection

Antique celadon jade monkeyMonkey stealing a gourd or peach

A goddess had a sacred garden in which she grew peaches and gourds. These fruits were sacred because they gave long life and fruitfulness. A cheeky monkey, knowing this, stole into the garden and grabbed the fruit. He knew this was forbidden, but he couldn’t resist. He then receives the longevity and fruitfulness. Monkeys are symbols of cleverness, charm, energy and mischief.

Antique jade quilinMystical animals (or Qilin)

Composite creatures often with a dragon’s head, scaly body, bushy tail, horns and hooves, it represents great wisdom

Antique white jade oxOx

Trustworthy, steadfast and solid

Antique jade palm leafPalm leaf

Badge of the self-educated

Lavender jade peachPeach

Longevity, fruitfulness

Boxwood netsuke pea podPea pod

Fruitfulness, bounty and anticipation of all good

Brown jade peonyPeony

Love, affection

Antique jade phoenixPhoenix

A mythical bird thought to be an emblem of beauty, goodness, high achievement and re-birth. It also appears in times of peace and prosperity.

Boxwood netsuke mouseRat or mouse

Industry, prosperity, cleverness and modesty

White jade ruyiRuyi

This sceptre is a symbol of rank but stands for ‘as you wish’ or ‘all you desire’

Embroidered shouShou

Character for long life

Antique ivory frogToad

Prosperity and agility

Jade vaseVase

Peace