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Lamp Made from an Antique Balustrade
Item No. 3830

19th Century, N/A, China
Glazed Ceramic
0" x 0" x 0"
( 0 x 0 x 0 cm)
(H x W x D)

This apple green glaze balustrade decorated with a kylin, was made into a lamp. The apple green glaze on the balustrade was popular in China between 1840 and 1880.

The kylin (ch’i-lin,) in Chinese mythology is a unicorn whose rare appearance often coincides with the imminent birth or death of a sage or illustrious ruler. The kylin is considered the prince of all beasts, just as the phoenix is the emperor of all birds and the lung is the chief of reptilian animals. It is one of the Four Spiritual or Intelligent Animals, and it can appear and disappear at will. It appears only when there are benevolent rulers presiding, and its appearance beings happiness and good fortune and is a blessing to those who view it. It is a pure solitary creature and never hurts or treads unnecessarily on living things. It is the symbol of perfect goodness, longevity, grandeur, filial piety, illustrious descendants and wise administration.

Sources:, Buddhist Symbols.

Ellie Crystal, Dragons of History Around the World, Ellie Crystal’s Metaphysical and Science Website,

Wolfram Eberhard, A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: Hidden Symbols in Chinese Life and Thought, London, Routledge Press Ltd., 1998.

Roland G.Knapp, China’s Living Houses: Folk Beliefs, Symbols, and Household Ornamentation, Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1999.

Ong Hean-Tatt, Chinese Animal Symbolisms, Malaysia, Pelanduk Publications, 1997.

C.A.S. Williams, Outlines of Chinese Symbolism and Art Motives, New York, Dover Publications, Inc., 1976.

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