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Gourd Shaped Tobacco Shop Sign

This double sided sign is rich with symbolism. The calligraphy identifies the type of the shop. The shape of the sign (a gourd) wards off evil spirits as well as disease. Because natural gourds are full of seeds, the gourd came to represent fertility, and a reservoir for the elixir of immortality. Two dragons playing with a ball of fire represent dragons leaping to the sun. In China the dragon is a positive symbol representing protection, good will and longevity. Two dragons leaping to the sun suggests longevity.

Once again China's third language - symbolism - is intertwined with archectural design. Where else can you go to find a sign, not only beautiful as an object, but suggestive of protection, longevity and good will. Delicious irony: all this positive imagery is on a tobacco shop sign.

Wood: Camphor

Province: Fujian

Dimensions: 36" x 19" x 1"

Price: $1,750