Lot 327. A blue and white 'Fish' jardinière, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722). Height 9 1/2 in., 24.1 cm. Estimate 12,000 - 15,000 USD. Lot sold 27,500 USD. Courtesy Sotheby's.
the steeply rounded sides rising to an everted, lipped rim, the exterior well painted in shaded tones of underglaze-blue with four large fan-tailed fish, a carp, mandarin fish and two kinds of bream, swimming in varying poses amongst an array of aquatic plants, set between double lines, coll. no 239.
Provenance: Stockspring Antiques, London, 1999.
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. 83.
Note: The depiction of these four plump fish forms a well-known rebus, qingbai lianjie, which translates as 'pure and incorruptible' signifying a wish for scholarly success. A blue and white fishbowl with the same subject matter in the Palace Museum, Beijing is illustrated in Gugong Bowuyuan Cang Qingdai Ciqi Leixuan Qing Shunzhi Kangxi Chao Qinghuaci [Selected Chinese Ceramics from the Palace Museum: Blue and White Ceramics in Shunzhi and Kangxi Periods], vol. I, Beijing 2004, pl. 251.