Although wood sweetmeat (tianshin) confection molds were used to make pastry deserts for religious and secular occasions, this exceptionally crafted and beautiful hardwood footed one was most likely a marriage gift in a wealthy family as seen in the decorative images and their symbolic meanings which were easily recognized by the owners. Elaborated and elegantly decorated in vibrant reds and gilt the mold sits on feet decorated with lotuses and the side apron with upside-down bats. Wishes for fidelity and fecundity are represented by paired fish and lotus pods filled with seeds. This is one of the ultimate wedding gifts, a blessing for the newlyweds and their future children. Although slightly warped from age, it is in excellent condition.
This intricately handmade hardwood mold contains deeply carved indentations on both sides used to make five different types of sweets for the Autumn Moon Festival. Each side has a carved circular mold with intricate detailing within it to fashion mooncakes and cookies that imitate a full moon. The front side has a mold of a rabbit jumping over the moon and both round cakes have rabbits in their design. With its soft patina and museum-quality stand, this rare antique carved mold would be a warm spiritual addition to any kitchen, and an especially wonderful gift for newlyweds or during the time of the Autumn Moon Festival.
This intricately hand carved and decorated mold has smooth carved indentations on both sides and is used to make confections called sweetmeats (tianshin) such as mooncakes eaten at festivals, holidays, and other key celebrations. One side produces 5 medium size confections and the other 9 smaller ones. Plain round cakes like this mold produces are likely made for other events as the sides are smaller, smooth, and without the sectioned exterior or decorative carved interior designs of harvest mooncakes. The 5-petal plum blossoms attached to vines are auspicious signs of fortune and longevity and their seeds are fertility symbols. In excellent condition with a fine patina it would make a great gift, especially for newly-weds.
This unique and finely detailed hardwood sweetmeat confection mold was probably used to make mooncakes for the Chinese Autumn Moon Festival. The decorations on the mold are filled with propitious symbols, and the product it creates – a single oversized pastry moon cake – brings blessings to those fortunate enough to eat it. The many auspicious objects include a four-clawed dragon at the top, a carp at the bottom, two ducks a large one on the right and a small one in the lower middle, a bird on the lower left, and plants native to a water environment. This would be a great accessory or gift (especially for weddings) to spice up any kitchen. It is in excellent condition and has a hole on the top to hang on a wall.
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