envelope (containers)

Gift envelope. Depicted on the front are the three Stellar Gods: On the left is Zhang Xian, the god of wealth, a representation of the Lu star, Ursa Major, dressed in the robes of a mandarin. He carries a ruyi sceptre in his right hand. His official’s headdress projects to either side, one of the easiest ways to distinguish him. On the right is Shou, the god of longevity, distinguishable by his domed bald head and long staff. Sometimes he carries a gourd. The Shou star is the South Pole in Chinese astronomy, which governs a person’s life span. Finally in the middle is Yang Cheng, the god of good fortune, representing the Fu star, Jupiter. He is shown in the dress of a scholar, and is accompanied by a child. Two other children appear in the scene.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk