This magnificent ‘Famille Verte’ plate is decorated with a depiction of a bird of paradise an a branch, surrounded by three birds. The bird of paradise has been a status icon in China for over two-thousand years. The first birds of paradise that reached Europe in the 16th century were stuffed animals. These birds, that were prepared by Papuas, had no legs or wings. This induced the myth in Europe that these birds were perpetually flying, never sat on a branch and solely survived on the clouds dew in the air. It took another 150 years before a complete bird reached Europe. The myth that these birds were flying in paradise gave them their name.