The decoration known as baishou zi (one hundred long-life characters) has traditionally been a popular decorative birthday motif in China. The characters are written in different forms with some adhering more closely to conventional seal script than others. Another version of this design is the wanshou zi (ten-thousand long-life characters), such as that decorating the magnificent blue-and-white jar in the Palace Museum, Beijing, included in the exhibition China. The Three Emperors, Royal academy of Arts, London, 2005, cat.no. 302, where the character 'long-life' is inscribed in ten-thousand different ways. Whether one hundred or ten-thousand, both versions of the design signify eternal life.
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