Lot 99. A Punch'ong bottle vase, Joseon Dynasty (15th - 16th century); 12 ¼ in. (31.1 cm.) high. Estimate USD 140,000 - USD 160,000. Price realised USD 149,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2016

The ovoid body with flared neck set on a short circular foot, decorated with thick white slip and incised lines with two large fish with spiky fins and stylized water-weeds, applied with a glossy clear glaze, the body with two sealed characters, one possibly "king" and another unidentified, the foot unglazed. 

NoteThis pear-shaped vase, also known as yuhuchunping, shows an exceptionally elegant form. The body is painted freely in iron-oxide with two humorous fish swimming. Because fish produce a large number of eggs, they symbolized prosperous of descendants, and this subject were frequently drawn as a representative design of ceramics from Joseon Dynasty.

For similar works with the same subject in the collection of National Museum of Korea, see Lee Sukyung, ed., Masterpieces from the Dongwon Collection in the National Museum of Korea, vol. 1 (Seoul: National Museum of Korea, 2012), pl. 55 and 56.

Christie'sAn Inquiring Mind: American Collecting of Japanese and Korean Art, New York, 15 April 2016