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Online Prints Catalogue

Monkeys and a peach


Item code : EDn069

Size 3.5 x 4 x 2.5 cm


18th - early 19th century.

A peach is a symbol of longevity and it is said to get rid of devil spirit.

In ancient mythology in China, the Chinese goddess, Xi Wangmu planted long-life peach trees in the mountains. On her birthday, the peaches were prepared for her celebration, but a monkey came down and ate them. Though this monkey gained an elixir of life he was imprisoned under a huge stone as a punishment. 500 years went on; the monkey was saved by a monk Xuanzang, and later accompanied the monk on a journey to retrieve Buddhist sutras from India. This monkey is called Sung Wukong as known as Songoku in Japanse and the story is a start of the famous novel, ‘Journey to the West’.

The mother monkey is carrying a peach and an infant is yearning for it. It is signed off as a study piece, likely carved by a pupil of a famous carver.