Finger citrons are not edible unless preserved with salt or sugar, but were known to have been used by Empress Cixi to fragrance rooms in the Palace. Their auspicious symbolism derives from the play on the Chinese word for finger citron, foshou, homophonous with the words for blessings, fu, and longevity, shou. Because of this, they were a popular subject in jade carvings of the Qing dynasty. See, for example, the much larger (22 cm.) jade finger citron sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 30 November 2011, lot 2904.