As the pomegranate (shiliu 石榴) has many seeds, it is an auspicious Chinese symbol for fecundity (fertility), offspring and bearing sons. The fruit’s first character (shi 石) has a very similar pronunciation as “generations” (shi 世) and is considered a wish for generations of descendants. Also one of the Three Abundances or Three Plenties, pomegranates are the citron representing blessings and happiness and resembles the fingers of the buddha, the peach of immortality symbolizing longevity and the pomegranate. When depicted together, they form the rebus fushou sanduo (福寿三多) meaning “May you have an abundance of blessings, long life and many sons.”

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  • Antique Carving of Auspicious Fruit Offering, China (19304UAK) $195

    H: 4.75″  W: 3.675″  D: 3.675″

    This offering plate with a stack of five propitious fruits was probably affixed to one of the bed posts for a couple as a wish for male children and longevity. The plate sits on a base draped with a stylized ritual cloth and embellished with carved leaves and holds a pomegranate on top to symbolize fertility and the four peaches below are symbols of longevity.

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