The ram is a symbol of filial piety, kindness and patience. The three rams, san yang, are also an auspicious motif, related both to the sun and to male children, as they provide a rebus for san yang kai tai, the opening up of the new growth in spring, which in turn symbolizes happiness and good fortune.
Compare with three jade groups of the three rams in the Palace Museum, Beijing, one illustrated in Jadeware (III), The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 1995, pl. 88 (fig. 1); and the other two smaller groups illustrated in Zhongguo Yuqi Quanji, Hebei, 1991, vol. 6, pls. 269 and 307. See, also, the white jade three rams group from the collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 27 November 2007, lot 362.