Hand-painted illustrations of zodiac figures accompanied
by Thai text from an undated paper accordion manuscript
"Thai Zodiac Signs are closely related to the Chinese Zodiac as both follow the same 12 year lunar cycle. In Thai zodiac signs the dragon is replaced by a “large snake” and in Northern Thailand an elephant may be used in place of the Chinese sign for the pig." [source]
The summary of this manuscript from the Hollis Catalogue page at Harvard University tells us:
"Fortune telling manual based on a 12 animal zodiac. Four-page spreads include paintings of the animal for a specific year, along with mascot-figure for that year, the corresponding tree for that year, and scenes depicting good and bad marriage matches for that animal zodiac. The monkey, rooster, dog, and pig are fully illustrated but do not have any accompanying text."The manuscript is dated to before 1844
"According to Chinese astrology, a person's destiny can be determined by the position of the major planets at the person's birth along with the positions of the Sun, Moon and comets and the person's time of birth and zodiac Sign. The system of the twelve-year cycle of animal signs was built from observations of the orbit of Jupiter (the Year Star). Following the orbit of Jupiter around the sun, Chinese astronomers divided the celestial circle into 12 sections, and rounded it to 12 years (from 11.86)." (slightly edited from [source])
- 'A treatise on fortune telling : manuscript, before 1844' is available online in full, hosted by Harvard University Library.
- UPDATE: Turn the Pages web edition of the manuscript.
- Possibly via the Houghton Library Tumblr.
- Previously: Astrology.
- This post first appeared on the BibliOdyssey website.
"Maria Revere Balestier (daughter of Paul Revere and wife to the first American consulate to Singapore) was actually the first documentable owner and she sent it to Eliza Susan Morton Quincy (wife of the Boston mayor and president of Harvard). There is a note on the front cover of this manuscript that indicates it was sent in 1844 and letters between the two confirm that they shared objects and books, including a biography of Raffles.
-Emilie Hardman, Houghton Library"