Saturday, December 01, 2007

is George possibly a Chinese Unicorn

Qilin incense burner (top unicorn)
Incense burner in the form of a qilin, or "Chinese unicorn," Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

An Eastern Omen
Long before the pearly white unicorn of European lore, a one-horned, magical animal was said to roam the Eastern world: the Asian unicorn. First mentioned in written stories around 2700 BC, this unicorn is described as a creature of great power and wisdom. Always benevolent, it avoids fighting at all costs and walks so softly it will not crush a blade of grass. Much like its European cousin, the Asian unicorn enjoys its solitude and cannot be captured. Its rare appearances are omens, celebrating a just and wise ruler.

An 18th Century Gilt Lacquer Kirin.
Kirin, also known as Chinese Unicorn, is a mythical creature of good omen with a head like a dragon and the tail of a lion (or foo dog), radiating with fire. The kirin is the symbol of grandeur, longevity, wisdom and benevolence and is said to have appeared at the time when the sage Confucius was born (551-479 B.C.)


Gabi Greve said...

Hi Princess,

you sure got a special piece here!

It does not look like a kirin (Japanese for this mythological animal) to me, though (excloude the kitsch photos on this collection, it is a simple google search in Japanese )

here are some more lion-dogs (koma inu) from Japan

I keep my eyes open for more info!


My Daruma San as incense burner

Princess Haiku said...

Thanks for the links, Gabi. It would be wonderful to find out what it really is and how old it might be. Do get a feeling it is Japanese rather than Chinese?

Mavin said...

Hey Haiku,

I like how the incense smoke releases out of the mouth, that photo you have down below with the smoke looks neat and amazing. Btw your Chrysanthemums look great as well, I can see your book collection the background.

Take care

PS - To give you a heads up I changed my URL address to:

This way I can tell poeple and friends my blog address easier without the whole title so no one will be confused with the long address.

Berlinbound said...

Thank you for your recent visit - I'm happy you came and hope to see you again.

Wonderful work you have here - far beyond my capacities.

Best ...

ndpthepoetress - Jeane Michelle Culp said...

Wow, that is interesting. I want to learn more! Princess Haiku, You are an Amazing Blogger! In fact, you have been given an Award and Readers would like to learn more about you! Amazing MeMe

Princess Haiku said...

Thanks for the links Gabi.
Got your new address Mavin.
Thanks Berlin and Jeane Michelle.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

A chinese unicorn - wow, that makes George very special. You're blessed to have him as part of your life.