China , circa 1796 - 1820
A fine and rare pair of large Chinese caparisoned cloisonné elephants, each standing four square, each with their head turned and trunk curled and raised, the wrinkled skin depicted with linear cloisons on a white ground.
Each supporting a wide elaborate saddle carpet on its back, decorated with stylised symbols upon which rests a large double gourd-shaped vase
The saddle and vase with scrolling foliate lotus design bordered by cobalt-blue key fret, all reserved on a yellow or turquoise ground.
The image of elephants carrying vases symbolises the arrival of peace, as it provides the rebus ‘tai ping you xiang’, which may be translated as ‘auspicious signs appear during times of peace