Gold deer, anonymous, c. 1700 - c. 1799
The Chinese character for ‘deer’, lu, is pronounced in the same way as the character for ‘good income’. So the animal symbolizes the prosperous life that results from a successful career. In its mouth, the deer holds a lingzhi, the ‘mushroom of immortality’. Thus its auspicious message is extended to express the wish that financial fortune continue to be enjoyed well into old age.