Called “money trees” because coins hang from what appear to be the limbs of a tree, objects like this are found in Han and post-Han tombs around Sichuan province in central China. The imagery of money trees likely has auspicious meaning. Xiwangmu, the Queen Mother of the West—a very early Chinese deity thought to dispense long life—is represented as a small seated figure under a roof, along the top of some of the branches. She is seen with attendant immortals and creatures, set amid other images that relate to aspirations for immortality. Depictions of roaming animals and hunters, as well as the tree’s towering form, refer to Xiwangmu’s mountain residence. The ram-shaped base of this money tree is also an auspicious image.
"Acquisitions of the Art Museum 1999," Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 59, no. 1/2 (2000): p. 70-101.