The deer symbolises both career advancement and longevity, while the pine trees and lingzhi constitute additional symbols of long life.
See two cloisonné enamel vessels decorated with deer in landscapes, illustrated by H. Brinker and A. Lutz, Chinese Cloisonné: The Pierre Uldry Collection, 1989, no. 322, a large fish basin, and no. 323, a tripod censer.
Deer are often painted
on enamelled porcelain of the Qianlong period. See a porcelain example, in the Shanghai Museum, illustrated in China Museum Collections, Jingdezhen Polychrome Ceramics, vol. 21, no. 103; another from the Grandidier collection in the Musée Guimet, Paris, illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, vol. 7, no. 190.