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Fish Bowl

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Fish Bowl

Made by: Unknown

On view in: Entry Hall


About this object

This large globular export fish bowl is decorated on the exterior and interior with famille rose enamels and gilding to illustrate rebuses of happiness, long life, and gold. Its footring is decorated with a meander pattern with scattered peony blossoms. The main body of the bowl is decorated with the Eight Buddhist Emblems, or the wheel of law, conch shell, umbrella, lotus, vase, two fish, and endless knot, alternating with lotus flowers, peaches of immortality, and shou, or long-life symbols, on a rose ground. Above the stacked pairs of Buddhistic Emblems are upside bats, a rebus for "happiness has arrived." Above the central scene is a cloud-collar resembling the fungus of immortality. The lip is decorated with gilded cymbidiums, long-tailed birds, chrysanthemums, prunus branches, and bamboo. The interior of the neck is decorated with addorsed serpentine guilong dragons facing a flaming pearl set against ruyi cloud background. The interior is enameled with nine gold fish, swimming among water plants. The fish bowl has two large gilded Buddhistic lion mask handles. The sound of the word for fish, yu, also expresses abundance or surplus. Two or more fish multiple aubundance and gold fish, or jinyu, suggest an abundance of gold. Fish in water provide a rebus for yushui hexei, or "may you be as harmonious as fish and water."

This large globular export fish bowl with wide flattened rim and gilded Buddhistic lion head handles with suspended rings is decorated on the exterior and interior with famille rose enamels and gilding to illustrate rebuses of happiness and long life. Its footring is decorated with a meander pattern in yellow and dark blue against a gray ground with scattered peony blossoms. The main body of the bowl is decorated with the ba jixiang, or Eight Buddhist Emblems, wrapped in fillettes, or ribbons, including the auspicisious symbols of the wheel of law, conch shell, umbrella, lotus, vase, two fish, and endless knot, alternating with stylistized lotus flowers, peaches of immortality, and shou, or long-life symbols, on a rose ground. Above the stacked pairs of Buddhistic Emblems are dark and light blue upside bats, or fu dou, a rebus for "happiness has arrived." Above the central scene is a light and dark blue cloud-collar band resembling ruyi, or the fungus of immortality, on a turquoise ground. The lip is decorated with gilded cymbidium orchids, long-tailed birds, chrysanthemums, prunus branches, and bamboo. The interior of the neck is decorated with two pairs of addorsed serpentine guilong dragons in green and blue as well as red and yellow each facing a flaming pearl and all set against ruyi cloud background. The interior is enameled with nine goldfish, or koi carp, swimming among water plants or seaweed set against a white background. The fish bowl has two large gilded Buddhistic lion mask handles, each of which has an integral suspension ring. It stands on a teak base.

Category:
CERAMICS, OTHER
Object name:
Fish Bowl
Made from:
Porcelain with famille rose enamels -- gilding -- and cold paint
Made in:
CHINA: Jingdezhen (porcelain); CHINA: Guangzhou (famille rose enamels and gilding)
Date made:
19th c.
Size:
overall __22.00 IN __ __ __22.00 IN
overall __55.88 CM __ __ __55.88 CM

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
26.258
Class:
CERAMICS
Signature marks:
MARK __on base: six character marks (incised not correct) for Ta-Ming-Hung-wu-nien-chih (which means first reign of Ming dynasty 1368-1398)
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973