Images of cats from the British Museum collection, £9.99
Height: 121.000 mm
Width: 71.000 mm
Gift of Sara Pimpaneau
Coins and Medals
Printed money envelope
Origin uncertain, around AD 2001
With its colourful design on the front and red background and reverse, this envelope is typical of those made during the 1990s and early twenty-first century.
The tall figure on the front of this envelope is Fu xing, the god of happiness, who carries his customary ruyi sceptre (the characters ru yi, 'all you wish for', appear in many good luck wishes). Above him are ribbons and bats (the Chinese for 'happiness' and 'bat' is fu). Below him are three chubby children, surrounded by treasures such as strings of coins, ingots, pearls and jewels. The child holding the gourd sits on a jubaopen, a magical vessel of treasures that remains full however much one takes from it. The child in the blue gown holds up a glowing ball on which is written fu, meaning 'good fortune'. The child at the front struggles to lift a heavy gold ingot.