Porcelain Sweet Meat or Stacking dishes. Five piece stacking dish, with four cylindrical bowls and one domed lid. Decorated with flying cranes. Signed under the lid, no damage or repairs. China, Qing Dynasty, c.1860
Cranes, or herons as they are also referred to, play an important role in Chinese mythology. In Chinese culture, the crane is venerated as the prince of all feathered creatures and thus has a legendary status. Embodying longevity and peace, it is the second most favored bird symbol after the phoenix. Throughout the imperial times, crane motifs were used on the robes of civil officials to depict their ranks. Because of its ability to fly high and over long distances, its wings were used as an amulet for protection against exhaustion. When a Chinese crane is shown flying towards the sun, it signifies a desire for social advancement.
8.75 inches tall
7 inched diameter long