Elephants were a popular theme in Chinese art and are the embodiment of strength, wisdom and intelligence.The word for elephant in Chinese is xiang, which can also mean appearance, and which additionally sounds like a word meaning happiness. Elephants also provide another message when combined with a precious vase, such as in the present lot. The Chinese word for vase is ping, which is a homonym for peace or eternal harmony. The combination of the two conveys the rebus taiping youxiang that may be translated as 'great peace in the world'. This message is lent greater weight by the inclusion of a saddle cloth, the word for which is an, another homonym for peace.