Bats Part 2

Bats are well loved by the Chinese, and frequently appear in art. This exquisite porcelain, up for auction at Christies, NY, is expected to bring in over $800,000. You can see bats soaring every which way, including toward the viewer.

Here is a screen shot of the vase:

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 9.05.23 AM

If you would like to hear an audio description of this vase, click here

In Mahjong, sometimes bats are quite easy to see, as we saw yesterday. But sometimes, as in life, the viewer needs to work a bit harder to find them.

They can be found on White Dragons.

The following are from the Mahjongmahjong collection. All of these are Chinese Bakelite, but they might be found on bakelite White Dragons too.

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Look at the eyes on the top and bottom of the tile above

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You can see two here pretty easily

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and here too

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The above tile may well be a bat.


april 24, 2013 hybrid set 017

We don't know, but these shapes at the corner of this hybrid bamboo set might be bats, or coins as Michael Stanwick speculated, or perhaps even both!

The next two bone and bamboo tiles are from Katherine Hartman's collection. This time they are on One Dots.

feb 12, 2014 bat set 2a 006-1


You can see the bats, with their pointy ears and triangular faces, at the top and bottom of the tile,  spreading out their wings. They surround two peaches and a Lu symbol. According to Ray Heaton, who translated and interpreted the characters and their meanings

"This tile shows three things, the Bats, Fu, the Peach for longevity, Shou, and the Chinese character 祿, Lu, for Prosperity. So this one tile has all it needs to provide the interpretation of Fu Lu Shou.

Blessings, prosperity, and longevity"

And for another One Dot tile Ray has helped again:

feb 12, 2014 bat set 2a 005-1
"The bats (fu) surround two peaches and a fu symbol. The sound Fu means prosperity, so we have double prosperity and longevity symbols."
Please email us if you have any bats on mahjong tiles in your collection

One thought on “Bats Part 2

  1. Sam

    Once again interesting how Chinese see things that Westerners regard as evil. Bats are not evil Bela Lugosi-like creatures of horror, but bring luck. Similarly, the dragons you've already talked about are not the feared village-destroying monsters of medieval Europe, but rather in China are are regal, majestic animals of the highest order, that bring good fortune.

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