Because of its white, clean feathers, the egret came to represent an incorruptible and honest official. Here, the egret is shown facing the sun, symbol of righteousness and promotion, while the cresting waves, or tide (chao) is a pun for 'court' (chao). The narcissus is associated with prosperity, while the rose, which blooms almost every month, is a pun for 'year-round'.
By the Yongle period (1403-1424), the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism (bajixiang) were not only Buddhist implements, but standard decoration to be found on cloisonné, porcelain and textiles made for the Palace. Their representation was believed to bring peace and blessings.