The Ram is the eighth member of the Zodiac calendar. The Chinese have always cherished and collected animals. Each animal symbolizes a part of the Chinese culture, some being more important than others. Rams, sheep and goats are known as Yang. When in triplicate San Yang. The earliest depictions are from the Shang Period (1600 to 1046 B.C.). The Ram symbolizes promise and prosperity as well as kindness and benevolence. This ram group depicts a mother neutering her two young. Each ram feeds from a circular cloud containing a Yin/Yang ball in its center. The base showing each animals feet. Large examples such as this example date from the 18th century. The size, pure white color and details of this piece indicate it was probably commissioned by a wealthy patron. Approximately 5" wide x 4 3/4" deep x 3 1/4" high. The Jade of bright white material. Qing Dynasty Formally in the Belz collection, Memphis, Tennessee.