Eight Precious Things (Babao)
Eight Precious Things, also known as the Eight Treasures, or babao in Chinese, are general auspicious symbols of good fortune. They often occur as a complete or partial set as decoration on ceramics from the Yuan dynasty and on. Sometimes they are combined with other auspicious motifs. They also occur individually as porcelain base marks. Red ribbons makes each a charm. They are from top left:
- Jewel or "pearl". Associated with the granting of wishes.
- Cash coin - Wealth.
- Open Lozenge - used in ancient times to ornament a headdress, victory.
- Pair of Books - symbol of learning and one of the Four Signs of the Scholar.
- Mirror (Solid Lozenge) - unbroken conjugal happiness (long story) and counteracts evil influences.
- Musical Jade Stone Gong (Qing), is a ministerial emblem and a symbol of a just and upright life. Symbol used alone in decoration as the homophonic (same sounding) word 'festivity' or 'celabration'.
- Pair of Rhinoceros Horns - Happiness.
- Artemisia Leaf - good luck and prevention of disease.
See also: Hundred Antiques