Antique Carved Sweetmeat Confection Mold, China (3214A-BKE)


H: 5.625″  W: 27.875″  D: 9.75″

This exceptionally crafted and beautiful footed confection mould  was most probably a marriage gift in a wealthy family as seen its symbols.  Elaborated decorated in vibrant reds and gilt it on feet decorated with lotuses and side aprons with upside-down bats, wishes for fidelity and fecundity of paired fish and lotus pods filled with seeds.



This lacquered confection-mold was likely from Fujian province where  small vernacular furniture, decorative accessories, and functional-and utilitarian items, were made for the new wealthy merchant class of nouveau riche Chinese unconnected to the imperial court from about 1850-1920. Qing-furniture and accessories were more flamboyant than Ming ones and decorated with gold leaf, ornate pierced carvings, lacquer to show off their new wealth and red, the color of fu, and gold which enhances fu especially when accented with areas of black. Although wood sweetmeat (tianshin) confection-molds were used to make pastry deserts for religious and secular occasions, this exceptionally crafted footed one was most likely a marriage gift in a wealthy family Wishes for fertility on this piece are: paired fish symbolizing marriage fidelity and fecundity, lotus seeds a wish many sons, and depicting them on vines is a more obvious wish for the couple to prosper forever with devotion to each other and produce many sons to continue to the family line. Lotus designs and upside-down bats mean “happiness has arrived” and five bat images symbolize the Five Blessings or Happinesses (fu,) as the word for bat is tonally similar to the Chinese word for blessings (fu). The mooncakes this mold produces are served on round platters called “Trays of Togetherness” are served during the August Moon Festival when round confections and fruits are served and shared as gifts with family, friends, and business associates. Kitchen-accessories like this are fine  gifts and are part of the VA Accessories-and-Furniture Collection. Although having a minor warp from age, it is in excellent condition.

Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


19th Century

Materials and Technique

Wood, polychrome, lacquer

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 16.5” W: 10.5” D: 2.25”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht:10.79cm W: 37.27cm D: 22.86cm


5lb 14oz


Excellent, fine patina demonstrating age and use

Reference Number



6” to 11.9”

Shipping Box Size