The decoration on the present carving carries many auspicious greetings. The peaches are symbols of longevity, as they are associated with the Daoist deity, Shoulao, the god of longevity; while the five bats represent the Five Blessings of longevity, health, wealth, love of virtue and a peaceful death. Together, the bats and peaches form the rebus fu shou shuang quan, a wish for happiness and long life. As such, this powerfully carved work would have made an appropriate birthday gift.
Other similar examples of peach and bat groups include one sold in our London Rooms, 3 May 1978, lot 154, and recently exhibited by S. Marchant & Son, Chinese Jades from Han to Qing, London, 2005, Catalogue no. 9; one from the collection of Mr. S. C. Yu, illustrated by Ip Yee, Chinese Jade Carving, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1983, no. 195; and another illustrated by Paul Spheeris and Robert J. Poor, Jade as Sculpture, Minnesota Museum of Art, 1975, no. 16.