Tag Archives: bats on mahjong boxes

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We thought this part was over, but one of our readers sent us two photographs of fabulous bats from the outside of boxes. We have to include them, of course, and you will see why. So we scoured the internet (mostly ebay) for more photos of bats, different yet from what we have seen to date, and they will be seen first.


The top panel has four bats in the corners. It is believed the two holding the medallion are too.



Another central medallion, this time held down by four bats.



On one writeup the vendor mentioned a stylized lucky bat handle. This box has one of them, and it looks like a bat in midflight, wings down.



This one has that kind of handle too. And you will see the brass has bats along the outside of the center medallion, maybe two or possibly four, etched into the brass. There has also been discussion as to whether the brass corners are bats too. If we go with the lack of antennae theory, they too would be bats. Ray Heaton added the following:

"This image on your blog shows the "double happiness" symbol on the box which is closely associated to wedding celebrations."



Notice the tiny little bats with their eyes etched into the brass, holding down the medallions.



This is a Chinese bat hat box. Don't you love the bats encircling the top cone?

And now for the reasons this extra bat post was added:

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This fabulous bat is on a panel of a beautiful red lacquer box.



And this is the front panel, with two bats. Isn't the detail on the bodies and wings of the bats delightful? They are flying around a Shou symbol.


This little chart is taken from forumgeomancy.net

It shows a round form of shou, very similar to those on the box.

As always, if you have any photos of sets you'd like to include for this site, please send an email to


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In addition to their presence on tiles, bats can be found on Mahjong boxes. Sometimes bats are very easy to recognize, but often it is a bit harder because they are very stylized.

They can add ornamentation to the outside of the boxes.

photo-4 bat

This bat is fairly easy to recognize. It's on the front of a red lacquer box.

From the same red box, here is another one


Yes, it does look like a butterfly, but it seems that butterflies and bats often resemble each other in Chinese art. The lack of antennae make it more likely that it is a bat.

And bats like these are found around the top of the box:


wrapping around the edge from the top to the sides.


photo-2 bat

This bat is the drawer pull for a front panel; pulling the panel upward ( by holding the bat's body)  reveals the drawers inside the box.

DSC_0728 bat

This ornate brass bat is on the side of a very special box.

Boxes like this are used for holding counters and dice. Here are some photos pulled from ebay:


You can see the four bats around the edge of the box



and along the sides. The bats on this box are completely endearing.


If a player was using this beautiful mother-of-pearl as a counter, she was very lucky indeed! Look up to the top and bottom middle of the counter. You will see a bat with outspread wings and striped body.

As always, if you have some photos you would like to add, please email me at


Here is a story that is a must read; it is not about boxes, but it is about bats and a Chinese vase. It just had to be included somewhere on the site, so it is here.