Thought to mate for life and die if separated, mandarin ducks are symbols of marital fidelity and often decorate wedding gifts. They are frequently depicted together with lotus flowers to symbolize a harmonious conjugal relationship.
[ S. Marchant & Son , London, until 2011; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Red and Black: Chinese Lacquer, 13th–16th Century," September 7, 2011–June 10, 2012.