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The Handle of Walking Stick in the Form of Turtledove
Source: Henan Museum Edit: acf Time: 2022.08.31 17:20:56

Period: Han dynasty (202-220)
Measurements: H.7.2 cm, L. 8.8 cm, W. 4.8 cm
Provenance: Acquisition

The turtledove is the decoration for the handle of the walking stick. The current piece is in the form of a bird, featuring a long beak, round eyes, wings furled on the shoulder, and perched on a tube with its wide tail bent upward. Two young birds on the chest of the big bird with their beaks connected together, in a position of feeding the nestlings by the mother bird, thus it is ingeniously crafted with elaborate decorations.

The turtledove finials, a component of the ritual walking stick for elder people, imply that the elder people have meals smoothly without being choked, and enjoy good health. During the Han dynasty, benevolence and filial piety were extolled, great importance was attached to the behaviors of venerating and feeding the elderly people. Many records were found in the ancient texts regarding the royal court bestowing the turtledove walking sticks to elderly people to show respect and veneration.