Dragon and Phoenix in Chinese Art and Mahjong Part 2


This is a spectacular lacquer Mahjong box. Notice the fabulous dragon on the right, with his open mouth trying to get the flaming "pearl." The phoenix is on the left, with her head just below her feet, facing toward the dragon. This Mahjong box has been beautifully and elaborately painted, using mostly gold and silver paint, with delicate brushstrokes and great detail.


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This photo of a porcelain at Frank Marshall shows the dragon and phoenix together too.  The dragon is guarding the top of the vessel, and the rounded forms below him show he is in the clouds. The phoenix is on the lower half, with her beautiful flowing tail, and she's seen flying over the water and the waves (the triangular shapes.) Once again we see the flames, those bright orange squiggles.


michaans Auctions Republic period

These porcelain tiles above, offered by Michaan's, have our beloved pairing again. This time two different dragons are seen with the phoenix, although the phoenix has not changed much. The flaming "pearl" is in the central position again, and stylized clouds surround our couple. Once again,  triangular waves are seen at the bottom of the tiles.


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Above is another delightful dragon One Dot and Phoenix One Bam, different yet from the ones the other day. You have to look really carefully to see the dragon's head, on the circle's lower right side, his mouth open to catch the flaming "pearl." The phoenix has a wonderful perky look, with her one leg raised as is often seen on Mahjong One Bams.


kh D&P2

We end this post with these two beautiful tiles from a set that was broken up years ago. You can see the phoenix on the left, representing the Green Dragon, looking quite the lovely female. The dragon, her leonine husband, is the Red Dragon, soaring in the sky near the flaming "pearl," partly hidden by those rounded clouds similar to what we have been seeing on the other forms of art.

The above tiles and the lacquer box are in Katherine Hartman's collection. The Chinese Bakelite tiles are from the collection of Michael Stanwick:


As always, if you have photographs or write-ups about Mahjong you would like to share, please email me at



The book I wrote with Ann Israel is being published by Tuttle. To see more about it:

www.mahjonggtheartof thegame.com

To order it click here:


or here from Amazon




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