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Longevity Spirit Money, from Taiwan (2 prints)

Accession Number
2006/2.41.2A

Title
Longevity Spirit Money, from Taiwan (2 prints)

Artist(s)
Taiwanese

Object Creation Date
20th century

Medium & Support
red ink on paper

Dimensions
12 1/2 in. x 8 1/4 in. ( 31.7 cm x 21 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Ellen and Richard Laing

Subject matter
“Longevity” money was used exclusively in the worship of deities to celebrate their birthdays, or as a means of thanking them for blessings already bestowed, or to ask for long life or other benefits. In addition to the large character for “longevity” in the center, the four characters at the top right, center, left, and at the lower margin express wishes for sons, emolument, wealth, and honor. A “double happiness” character is in each lower corner. Two coins are suspended from the wings of a stylized bat, a symbol of happiness because the pronunciation of the character for “bat’ (fu) is identical to that for happiness. To produce the “spirit money,” the carved images would be printed in red over a patch of gold foil placed on top of a wide orange-colored swatch painted on coarse paper.

Physical Description
Print with floral design framing an inner square that contains six characters in the top and lower right, center, and left corners and a large character in the middle (“longevity”) with an image of two coins suspended from the wings of a stylized bat in the lower center.

Primary Object Classification
Print

Primary Object Type
color print

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
bats (game equipment)
money
printing (process)
printing blocks (printing surfaces)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved