Lot 316. A large famille-verte 'lotus' fishbowl, Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Period (1662-1722). Diameter 14 3/8 in., 36.5 cm. Estimate: US$30,000 - US$50,000. Courtesy Sotheby's.
stoutly potted, of deep U-shape, richly enameled around the exterior with an auspicious depiction of a resplendent lotus pond featuring broad leaves with curling edges and delicate veining, straining slender stems issuing brightly colored buds and lush blossoms, all emerging from placid waters enlivened by small waterbirds paddling along the surface, perching elegantly on foliage and flying overhead, the base unglazed, coll. no. 215.
Provenance: Cohen & Cohen, London, 2001.
Literature: Jeffrey P. Stamen, Cynthia Volk with Yibin Ni, A Culture Revealed, Kangxi-Era Chinese Porcelain from the Jie Rui Tang Collection, Bruges, 2017, cat. no. 72.
Note: Vibrantly painted, the verdant subject matter is apt as a vessel for fish and additionally replete with auspicious meaning, the lotus being associated with longevity, integrity and harmony. The benevolent subject matter is further heightened by the exaggerated scale of the flowers which are enormous in relation to the birds which gather among them.
A fish bowl of the same form and subject matter but painted in underglaze-blue was sold in our London rooms 14th May 2014, lot 220. For a related form, see a Kangxi period famille-verte vase decorated with egrets, butterflies and insects amidst a lotus pond, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Porcelain in Polychrome and Contrasting Colours, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 81.
Sotheby's. Kangxi: The Jie Rui Tang Collection, Part II, New York, 19 Mar 2019, 02:00 PM