Pick of the week
Catherine Hunt, the Cheltenham porcelain specialist, not only has a whole Oriental menagerie, but has produced a brief list of the meanings of both real and mythical creatures in Chinese culture. As well as the numerous dragons—generally beneficent, but also short-tempered—she tells us that Lu, the deer, stands for longevity, official emolument, honour and success in study. The phoenix, Feng Huang, represents the Empress, beauty, goodness, abundant harvests and reason in government. Her phoenix jar has a dragon on the other side, presumably for the Emperor.