Many of the decorations which are used on Chinese ceramics have special meanings. These are some of the common ones.
Bamboo: promotion or perfect personality.
Bat: hapiness. (In mandarin, the word for “bat” sounds like the word for “happiness”.)
Carp: doing well in business. (In mandarin, the word for “carp” sounds like the word for “business”.)
Carrot: auspicious predestination.
Chi-lin (Chinese unicorn): excellent descendents or promotion.
Chicken: building up a family or a business (in Taiwanese culture).
Chrysanthemum: nobility or wealth
Crane: long life.
Deer: richness (In mandarin, the word for “deer” sounds like the word for “salary”.)
Dragon: authority, nobility, auspiciousness or the emperor. (The Chinese mythology, the dragon is a good natured and benign creature.)
Fish: wealth or abundance. (In mandarin, the word for “fish” sounds like the word for “surplus”.)
Lion: preventing evil.
Lotus: purity or auspiciousness.
Peony: nobility or wealth
Pineapple: flourish (in Taiwanese custom).
Phoenix: beauty, nobility, the female or the empress.
Pumpkin: descendants. (In mandarin, the word for “pumpkin” sounds like the word for “son – and pumpkins have many seeds.)
Swastika: the heart of the Buddha, resignation of spirit, mind or infinity.
Wave: full of happiness
Yin and Yang: the inter-action of opposites in nature. The light portion, Yang, is male, heaven, sun and light. The dark half, Yin, represents the female, earth, moon and dark.