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Fortune, Wealth, and Longevity

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Period: Dated 1888, Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Medium: Vermillion on paper
Format: Hanging scroll

Calligrapher(s): Attributed to Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908)

Dimensions: Length: 128.3 cm; width: 62 cm

This calligraphic work integrates the characters for “fortune” (fu), “wealth” (lu), and “longevity” (shou) into one stylized form. The larger “fortune” and smaller “wealth” share the left-side radical shi while “longevity” is written within the larger “fortune” and beside “wealth”. The conspicuous vertical stroke on the right serves as the walking stick for the lightly sketched Deity of Longevity (Shouxing) above the characters for “wealth” and “longevity”. The ruling lady’s vermillion seal is inscribed “Seal of Empress Dowager Cixi” (Cixi huangtaihou zhi bao) and is found at the top of this work.

English editing by Adam J. Ensign and Zhuang Ying

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