A 19th century Chinese red lacquered wood panel is carved with the gods of happiness, prosperity and longevity surrounded by lively attendants running to and fro in a garden scene. Gold leaf applied sparingly over the lacquer adds richness and depth to the carving. The panel is in two parts, with the gods and their retinue carved in relief on the upper section, and fine pierced carving on the bottom section, with beautifully executed symbolic icons: a peony representing honor and masculinity is in the center flanked on either side with a phoenix in flight, emblem of peace and femininity. These strong symbolic messages suggest that this piece was once part of an ornate canopied marriage bed. The attendants appear to be carrying food and money, adding another note to the prosperity wish. The three gods are sometimes referred to as the “star gods” and, along with many other Chinese legends and beliefs, can be traced to the ancient Chinese fascination with the constellations, which they believed were the celestial homes of longevity, prosperity and happiness. Metal loops have been added to the back side of the panel to facilitate its use as wall display. It also is an appropriate size for use as a headboard for a twin-size bed. This carving is in excellent condition. Dimensions: width 35” (89 cm), height, 19 ½” (49 cm), depth 1 ½” (4 cm).