Chinese Silk Pillows, Meaning of Symbols?

tamrock

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Today I stopped by a yard sale and saw these pillows the woman said her friend brought back as a gift from a trip to China. They were five bucks each and she said they were made of silk. My guess with bats on it that might mean something like long life or luck? Hopefully red coat or Mr. Hao can decipher the meanings, because I sure can't. Also do you think they really made of silk ?....Thanks! Tamrock
 

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Red-Coat

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Nice. I don?t see why they wouldn?t be silk. The iconography comprises various sh?u (壽) characters and related symbology for long life, happiness and good luck.

From Wiki:

? usually found on textiles, furniture, ceramics and jewelry. The ideograph may appear alone or be surrounded by flowers, bats, or other good luck symbols, but will always hold a central position.
Longevity is commonly recognized as one of the Five Blessings (wǔf? 五福 - longevity, wealth, health, love of virtue, a peaceful death) of Chinese belief that are often depicted in the homophonous rendition of five flying bats because the word for "bat" in Chinese (f? 蝠) sounds like the word for "good fortune" or "happiness" or in this case, "blessings". In this arrangement, the sh?u ideograph sometimes takes the dominant central position, replacing the fifth bat.



[Apologies in advance that the forum software almost certainly will corrupt some of those characters above. See original entry from Wiki at the link below]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shou_(character)
 
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tamrock

tamrock

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Thank RC. I failed to ask the women when it was she received them, so with that have you any idea how old these might be?
 
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Red-Coat

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Difficult to say, Tam but China was pretty much a closed country between 1949-1974 as far as tourism was concerned and didn’t begin promoting tourist travel until the late 1970s. I was last there in 2002, and items like this were widely available from shops and markets in tourist destinations. Hong Kong has been tourist-friendly for longer, and I saw a huge selection of imported silk goods at HK’s Stanley Market on visits prior to that.

They still make them today in various patterns:

Pillow.jpg
 
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tamrock

tamrock

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Difficult to say, Tam but China was pretty much a closed country between 1949-1974 as far as tourism was concerned and didn’t begin promoting tourist travel until the late 1970s. I was last there in 2002, and items like this were widely available from shops and markets in tourist destinations. Hong Kong has been tourist-friendly for longer, and I saw a huge selection of imported silk goods at HK’s Stanley Market on visits prior to that.

They still make them today in various patterns:

View attachment 1932548
Thanks you RC. So it be safe to assume these might be to the range of 20 to 30 years old.
 
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