Pair of toads with three legs on their bases engraved in wood. One of them holds a pearl in his mouth.
The tree-legged toad, derived from Chinese mythology, is a Feng Shui symbol representing prosperity and wealth.
Chan Chu, the three-legged taod, is mentioned by the poet Qu Yuan in Chu’s Songs. He compares the moon to a toad with a rounded body, whose three legs represent the three lunar phases.
According to some authors, the toad on the moon is none other than the beautiful Chang-e, transformed into an amphibian by Xiwangmu, the queen of the Western Palace, in punishment for having stolen the immortality potion. Once considered the most beautiful woman in the world, she is now condemned to live far from men, making every day the elixir of eternal life.
According to another legend, the amphibian is the companion of the sorcerer and alchemist Liu Hai Chan, a surname translated by “Rating Toad”, one of the Eight Immortals of Chinese mythology. His nickname would come from a story titled “Liu Hai Chan seduces the Toad” when he captures a genie three-legged greedy toad, hidden in the bottom of a well or pond, using a ligature of piece used as bait.
Regardless of the circumstances of their meeting, Chan Chu and Liu Hai seem to quickly become friends, and decide to travel the world together, provided that the toad serves as a flying carpet to his master.
China - 19th century
Height : 7.3 in – Length : 5.9 in – Width : 5.3 in
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