Expertly crafted and hand finished, these highly stylized mandarin ducks are hand finished and feature 24 karat gold details. Noritake Studio Collection created the drake and hen bird figurines exclusively for the Franklin Gallery in 1987. Today, the attractive works of decorative art are a rare find. The Studio Collection is known for high quality hand made arts and crafts "that only Noritake with its history and tradition, can make. The design sense and high-level skills that have been passed over the years, is condensed into each and every product" (from the company's site).
COLORS: The hen is a rich maroon, vermilion or oxblood red and the drake is jet black - both have gold accents.
SIZE: The female is about 7 1/" long x 3 ½" wide; the male is about 8 ¼" long to the tip of its beak.
MARK: as shown in the last photo.
CONDITION: The hen is in exceptional vintage condition (no cracks, chips, crazing or repairs); the drake is also in excellent condition, with the exception of a repair to a wing tip (please see the photos).
GIFT IDEAS: Mother's, Father's or Grandparent's Day, Birthdays, etc. The set would make a great gift for environmentalists, hunters, water fowl enthusiasts and bird figurine collectors.
ORIGIN: these birds were made by employees of Noritake, Japan in the 20th Century for export to Western markets.
Mandarin Duck, from Wikipedia
The Mandarin Duck is a medium-sized perching duck, closely related to the North American Wood Duck. The adult male is a striking and unmistakable bird. It has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and "whiskers". The breast is purple with two vertical white bars, and the flanks ruddy, with two orange "sails" at the back. The female is similar to the female Wood Duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye, but is paler below, has a small white flank stripe, and a pale tip to its bill.
Mandarin Ducks are frequently featured in Oriental art and are regarded as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity. A Chinese proverb for loving couples uses the Mandarin Duck as a metaphor: "Two swimming mandarin ducks". The Mandarin Duck symbol is also used in Chinese weddings, because in traditional Chinese lore they symbolize wedded bliss and fidelity (in reality, however, they find new partners each year).
The species was once widespread in eastern Asia, but it is now endangered because of large-scale exports and the destruction of its forest habitat. In the wild, Mandarin Ducks breed in densely wooded areas near shallow lakes, marshes or ponds. They nest in cavities in trees close to water. Shortly after the ducklings hatch, their mother flies to the ground and coaxes the ducklings to leap from the nest. The Asian populations are migratory, overwintering in lowland eastern China and southern Japan.
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