Compare with a single cloisonne figure of a standing qilin from the Qing Court Collection illustrated in Metal-bodied Enamel Ware, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2002, p. 168, no. 160. The qilin, which resembles a stag, is an auspicious symbol of longevity, fertility and wise administration as it only appears during the reign of a benevolent ruler. It is also associated with the Confucian virtue of ren, as it is benevolent to all living creatures. Sometimes the qilin is shown carrying a young boy on its back as it is also believed to be a bringer of illustrious sons, see for example a pair of cloisonne qilin bearing young boy formerly in the T.B. Kitson Collection, sold at Sotheby's London, 7 June 1967, lot 268; and the pair from the Mandel Collection offered in this sale at lot 3914.