Birds in Trees in Chinese Art and Mahjong

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This lovely work of art was done by Ren Yi who lived from 1840 until 1896, and it is part of the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.You can see a bird with a crest on its head, perched on a tree branch. It is believed this is a kingfisher, also known as ribbon-tailed bird, prized for its beauty.



This scroll, also in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, was painted by the Chinese artist Shen Nanpin who taught art in Japan during the Qing Dynasty. You can see the long tail feathers which give the bird its name.

On One Bams we usually see standing birds, or swooping birds, usually pheasants, peacocks, cranes and swallows. The following are more unusual birds.



Above is a rare One Bam. We see a bird with a crest on a branch. It is not so dissimilar to the one above, and it is believed to be a kingfisher although the tail is not as long as we would expect.


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This one above is also believed to be a kingfisher, sitting on a thin bending branch.



This one is too, also sitting on a stylized stalk of bamboo. A kingfisher on bamboo may mean birthday wishes: bamboo is a  pun for "congratulate." (Bartholomew)



Although this one obviously is not a bird, but a bamboo sprout, it too is seen "perched" on a bamboo stalk.

Our thanks to Mahjongmahjong for some of these images.