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ARCHITECTURE & ICONOGRAPHY

 

 

 

  squirrel with grapes

 

Vietnam

In Chinese iconography and in its derivative form also established in Vietnam, decorations of one or more squirrels with grapes, as carved in this indoor eave bracket (fig.), is an allegoric depiction in two levels that expresses the wish for numerous descendants, i.e. a large offspring.

 

Since grapes grow in bunches, they are a symbol of abundance, whereas the squirrel, since it dwells in the branches of trees, is said to correspond to the first Earthly Branch of the Chinese zodiac (fig.), that is known as Zi () and which also means son, child, and seed.

 

  squirrel with grapes