Ref. 116116 // Year 2018 // Limited Edition #497-512 // 925 Steling Silver & deep black precious resin // Round cut White VS1 Diamond (0.025 Carat).
Third of Chinese Zodiacs series.
Zodiac Signs: a general introduction
Astrology (etymologically « search for meaning in the sky ») is the study based on movements and relative positions of celestial objects to predict terrestrial and human events. Astrological or Zodiac signs, which appear in both Weastern and Eastern culture, are a direct conseguence of this kind of study. Their origins and method of interpretation differ greatly through the centuries depending on civilizations. In the Western culture these signs are aligned with the path of the sun and stars constellations. In fact people observed that the sun travels in the course of a year through some constellations, which emerged to be twelve, like the months in the Gregorian Calendar . As this constellations were associated with the outlines of certains animals they were given animals names and each person born in the time frame connected with the constellation was characterized by a particular Zodiac Sign. This interpretation can be found in many different cultures such as Babylonian, Greek, Egyptian and Indian. Remarkably, East Asia stands alone in possessing a zodiac with a completely different frame of reference.
The Chinese zodiac
The Chinese zodiac lie in the realm of myths and legends and consists excusively of animal symbols. It covers twelve years, but it’s not restricted only to this cycle. The 24 hours of the day are also divided into pairs of hours and combined with the twelve animals. The animals themselves are organised by group of three per season and compass direction. Tiger, rabbit and dragon are associated with spring and the East; snake, horse and sheep go with summer ant the South; monkey, rooster and dog stand for autumn and the West, while pig, rat and buffalo relate to winter and the North. The Chinese calendar is based on a cycle of 60 years and it’s characterized by a binding between earthly branches, zodiac symbols, heavenly stems and the five elements. According to the legend this system, that is supposed to govern life on earth and determine destiny, was first introduced by the “Yellow Emperor” Huangdi in 2637 BC. This date is taken by many as the beginning of the Chinese calendar, which influenced almost every East Asian culture. There are various legend that explains the inclusion and ordering of the animals in the zodiac. One of the most known finds the Jade Emperor holding a race for all the animals in the kingdom. The first twelve animals to cross the stream shall be named the animals of the zodiac. This race is won by the rat that becomes the first animal of the zodiac, followed by the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the sheep,the monkey, the rooster, the dog and finally the pig. During centuries the zodiac becomes integral part of the East Asian culture and can be found as subject of many texts and poems, but also represented in Art and everyday objects. Each animal in the Chinese calendar has specific characteristics and, according to legend, all the people born in the year of a certain animal automatically inherit its peculiarities. On account of this, the chinese name for the zodiac is “shengxiao” (“sheng=”birth” and “xiao”=”similarity”).
The Earth Dog
On the 16th of February 2018 Chinese people will celebrate the New Year exclaiming “wang, wang, wang!” , which stands for “flourish” and “prosper”, to honour the beginning of the “dog year”. Since ancient times in Asia dogs were mainly employed as guards of houses and herd of sheeps, with the exeption of the Pekinese dog (also known as “the lion dog”) which had the privilege to live in the emperor’s palace and to be highly honoured. This was due to a legend saying how Pekinese dog was in origin a semi-divine creature that used to protect Buddah from evil by transforming into a lion. Another dog which had the role of guardian and was remarkably considered is the Fu dog, often sculptured at the entrances of Buddah’s temples. This dogs were also considered by some cultures, such as the South Chinese Yao minority, as ancestors of the human communities. One of the legends says that the dog Pan Hu saved an emperor from his enemy and founded a community by marrying his daughter. After 12 years we come across the dog sign again and the element earth connected with it. People born under the dog are known to be loyal, honest, intelligent and reliable. The element earth, representing “grounding”, “high moral” and “ethic”, empower the sign giving to it more sense of justice and intuition. This zodiac sign comes toghether with its birthstone: the diamond.
The Montblanc Legend of Zodiac Dog Limited Edition 8x8x8 is dedicated to the 2018 earth dog and honours number 8 at the same time (luky number in asian culture). The cap (925 sterling silver) is hand engraved with the figure of the dog and a Chinese coin, to symbolize future wealth. The black lacquer barrel is in contrast with the 925 sterling silver cap and fittings. The cone is set with a magnificent dimond as reference
to the birthstone (round cut, 0,025 carat, white colour with VS1 clarity). The cap ring is decorated with number 2018 plus the last six years in which the dog was the sign of the year and namely : 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 . The cap is crowned with a mother-of-pearl Montblanc emblem. The image of the dog appears finely engraved also on the handcrafted rhodium-coated Au750 gold nib.
The concerned pen comes in still sealed condition. It has never been used nor inked. All original boxes, papers and packaging: display box, outer box, outer sleeve, Service guide, Certificate and booklet.
Chinese astrological figures on the roof of a temple in the Xiu Shan Park, Tonghai, Yunnan province, China.
Dog, from the series Fascionable twelve signs of the Zodiac, Fûryû jûnishi
White cloud temple, Beijing, relief representing the Chinese zodiac dog. According to an ancient belief, touching them confers benefits.