What characters are depicted on this old jar? My (art-)sources have all different opinions: "fu2 shou4 an1 kang1" or "fu2 lu4 shou4 xi3" or 4 x shou4 or "fu2 shou4 kang1 ning2" and all without telling which tree is what character.
I did some more research regarding the fourth character and found this in a book I did buy in China.
I can't read it (I'm collecting art...) but recognize the 寿 (shou) between quotes, so is it 寿 in a different way of writing as 3 ? But then some time ago a Dutch professor in Chinese suggested 喜, Huang thinks it's 乐 and Claw 寧. So the mystery remains...
It should be 福壽康寧 (fú shòu kāng níng; simplified: 福寿康宁).
I'm pretty certain about the first 3; 寧 is the only one that is hard to tell, but based on context, it should be 寧.
EDIT: And this is what it means: good fortune, long life, health and peace