This Song dynasty dove-shaped staff finial follows the Han dynasty tradition as a symbol awarded to men who have reached the age of 70, who were subsequently treated with greater respect. Fan Yeh explains in History of the Later Han Dynasty that doves were chosen as an emblem because of their ability to digest anything without difficulty and this implied that the recipient would perform likewise. The Han versions are most often found in silvered-bronze, an example was included in the Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong, Special Exhibition of Ancient Chinese and Ordos Bronzes, 1990, Catalogue, no. 82. It is likely that a corruption of the Han text led to the character for 'King' being interpretd as 'Jade' in the Song period and hence to the creation of the jade dove staff finials. A jade example from the collection of Wu Dacheng is illustrated in Gems of Chinese Art from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, The Avery Brundage Collection, no. 49 and again with another example in D'Argence, Chinese Jades in the Avery Brundage Collection, pl. XXIV. Watt illustrates another example in Chinese Jades from Han to Ch'ing, Catalogue, no. 79.