Vietnamese Bleu de Hue Porcelain 6-Piece Tea Service for Four W/Crane, Prunus Mume & Poem Motif Marked "Jade Trinket" (From a Vietnamese Royal Family) - This porcelain tea service for four is elaborately decorated in vivid cobalt blue underglaze, and depicts a crane standing under a Prunus Mume (plum blossom) tree. The crane signifies longevity, happiness and smooth flight, or a smooth path through life, and plum blossom represents the value of endurance. The five-petaled flower also symbolizes the five blessings: longevity, prosperity, health, virtue and good living. They are also decorated with a poem in the center. This tea service includes (4) tea cups, one large round tray and one small round tray. The bottom of each piece bears the two character "Ngoan ngoc" marking meaning "jade trinket". This very high quality porcelain was ordered from China for the court use. Although Chinese artisans executed the painting, Vietnamese rulers dictated the designs. Each ruler ordered ceramics of his own liking for use in his court, as well as presentation pieces to give to members of royal families and mandarin officials. This is a true modern day treasure, and a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a piece of Vietnamese history. This piece comes from the estate of a Vietnamese Royal Family (the family now lives in the United States, and wishes to remain private as they still have relatives living in Vietnam). This piece has excellent investment potential, as it is thought by experts around the world and avid collectors that due to the rapid modernization of Vietnam, Vietnamese antiques will within the next ten years be more valuable than Chinese antiques. According to some of the most expert collectors in the world, what used to sell for hundreds are now selling for tens of thousands. Measurements: tray-7" in diameter x 1.25"H, small tray-4.5" in diameter x 1"H, cups-1.25"H x 2" in diameter.