Liu Har plays with toad

Actual size is 148 mm.

Detailed description of charm was received 22-Dec-97 from S.Shevtcov.
Inscription Zhao Zai Jin Pao on the obverse of the charm means "Let the wealth grows and treasure comes in the house". In this particular case the left sign Pao is not relevant to combinations like T'ung Pao, Yuan Pao etc., which by tradition are engraved on coin's legends, that's why it is can not be treated as a coin legend, but must be included in the four-parted benevolent expression.

Right there four glowing pearls or (according to another treatment) balls of fire is represented. The glowing pearl in Chinese mythology is regarded as a very precious piece, having a deeply benevolent meaning and associated with daylight. Pearls (or balls of fire) like those have often been depicted right by the side of the heaven's Dragon and associated with thunder and lightning. One way or another pearl is very respected and benevolent symbol. This is the treatment of the meaning in brief.

On the reverse side the very popular Chinese mythological subject is represented. It can be translated as "Liu Har plays with toad". Liu Hai (or Liu Har - northern dialect) in the past was an official at court during the Five Dynasties and Ten states. His real name was Liu Yuan Ying (there are other versions), but he had a nickname Hai Chan or "sea toad". When he gave his leave of absence he became the apprentice of Daosus and died in solitude in mountains. In mythology he is known as Liu Har. According to some sources he is regarded as well as the God of Coins and an assistant of the God of Wealth Zai Shen. He and the three-fingered toad (his life-long companion) are considered to be symbols of money and wealth, that's why his image can be seen not only on the charms, but on the New Year's popular prints.

There are at least two myths about Liu Har and toad. In the first Liu Har came into possession of magic three-fingered toad (Chan - due to the pronunciation variations can also be heard as Qian - money) and was able to move with it's help to any location. One day the toad hid itself in the deep well but Liu Har succeeded in casting the toad out with the help of the rope with money, attached to it. The second story tells us about venomous toad in the pond, who liked to annoy people. With the help of the same rope Liu Har took out and destroyed the toad. Here you can see Liu Har with the rope and with the toad on it, as it appears very often. One can also see Liu Har surrounded by bats - symbols of happiness.

On the charm you can see Liu Har is surrounded by clouds, the rope with attached coins in hands.

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