shrine tablet (tablet (ritual & belief: religious buildings & furnishings))

Rectangular wooden tablet painted in red, carved with four Chinese characters reading 'tian guan ci fu', which means: 'May the Official of Heaven bestow blessings'. Painted with gilt. This tablet would have hung in the living room or at the shrine to the Official of Heaven, who is one of the three divine officials of the Daoist pantheon: the Official of Heaven, the Official of Earth and the Official of Water. They are responsible for bestowing blessings, forgiving sins and fending off disasters respectively.

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The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive.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