Antique Pair of Double Happiness Oil Lamps, China (16915BAE)


H: 9.5″  W: 5.25″  D” 3.5″

Each of the antique carved wood oil lamps of this pair is filled with auspicious symbols to bring health, wealth and happiness to its owner – both in the past and in the present. Their vertical shafts are composed of stylized double happiness characters mounted on a rounded stand on four feet. Painted in gold and red for good luck, their articulated decorative rectangular tops are covered with carved lozenge designs and five-leaf plum blossoms on each side.


The pair of antique oil lamps was clearly meant to bring good luck and happiness – to its owners. Painted with gold and red, both colors are colors of fu or good fortune. One is decorated on the top with a double lozenge (fangsheng) meaning “many treasures” and a common reference to the Eight Treasures (babao) – a combination of any of precious objects from the Chinese Hundred Treasures. Since ba, (eight) rhymes with fa (to expand), the double lozenge is a visual pun “to expand in wealth” which explains why the number 8 is so often used by Chinese for telephone, address and license plate numbers. The five leaves represent plum blossoms, symbols of perseverance and purity, and the Five Blessings or Happinesses – wealth, health, longevity, a peaceful death and the love of virtue. These symbols are common Taoist and Folk-Art references. This folk-art oil lamp with a lacquer coating was used with a wick hanging over the side, so some of top and part of its side rail has been burned away. Otherwise, they are in very good condition with surface losses, minor pitting all expected from age and use. These Functional-and-Utilitarian items are part of the VA Antique-Chinese-Wood-Carving collection.

Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18th-19th Century

Materials and Technique

Wood, polychrome, gilt, lacquer

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 9.50” W: 5.25” D: 3.5”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 24.13cm W: 13.33cm D: 8.89cm


1 lb 8oz


Very good, see description


6” to 11.9”

Shipping Box Size

Reference Number

16915 BAE