Room 8

Case 46

Porcelain with fish decoration 魚紋瓷器

Porcelain from the Jingdezhen kilns 景德鎮窯, Jiangxi Province 江西省, Qing dynasty 清代 (1644-1911).

Fish are among the favourite decorative motifs of the Chinese. The carp is a powerful symbol of intellectual accomplishment and fish in general express bounty.

  1. “Powdered blue” vase with carp design 灑藍加彩鯉魚紋棒錘瓶

    Reign of Kangxi 康熙 (1662-1722)


  2. Dish painted in red enamel and gilt with carp design 紅金彩鯉魚紋盤

    Reign of Kangxi 康熙 (1662-1722)

  3. Pair of dishes painted in Wanli wucai style depicting various types of fish 萬曆五彩四种魚類紋盤一對

    Reign of Yongzheng 雍正 (1723-1735) or Qianlong 乾隆 (1736-1795)

    CB-CC-1949-562 and CB-CC-1949-563

    The mark under the base refers to a famous story attributed to Zhuangzi 莊子 (4th c. B.C.), who, observing the fish in their natural element, exclaimed: “They rejoice in the water” 在川知樂.
  4. Pair of bowls with red fish on a blue ground 寳燒鮊魚紋碗一對

    Mark and reign of Yongzheng 雍正 (1723-1735)

    CB-CC-1933-533 and CB-CC-1933-534

    The fish represented can be identified by their long dorsal fin and up-turned mouth. These are silver carp, symbolising incorruptibility.
  5. Bowl with carp decoration painted in enamels 琺瑯彩鯉魚紋碗

    Qing dynasty, 18th c.


    Under the base is an inscription reading “to be treasured like a gem from the deep” 若深珍藏.
  6. Basket-shaped vase with carp painted in red enamel 琺瑯彩金魚紋籃形瓶

    Reign of Kangxi 康熙 (1662-1722)


    A few other vases with a similar shape and glaze exist, although without the fish.
  7. Enamelled bowl (one of a pair) decorated with landscapes and goldfish swimming among seaweed 琺瑯彩金魚戯草與山水紋碗

    Mark and reign of Qianlong 乾隆 (1736-1795)