The plate, of chrysanthemum form with molded petal sides and scalloped rim. Beautifully decorated in the center with a pair of pheasants perched and flying above rockery and peonies; the sides with alternating reserves of flowering plants and a variety of mythical beasts, including a fu lion, qilin and bixi- all symbolic of good tidings and good fortune.
Diameter: 10 1/2 inches (26.7 cm.)
A rather poetic term for the mythical animals in early classic texts on Chinese decoration is "fabulous beasts." This plate represents a wonderful and unusual representation of this subject that encapsulates the literal and poetic double entendre of the term!