Lot 885. An unusual copper-red-decorated 'fish' jar, Kangxi period (1662-1722); 11¾ in. (30 cm.) high. Estimate USD 15,000 - USD 20,000. Price realised USD 22,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2014

The heavily potted, ovoid jar has a short, rounded rim, and is decorated in copper red of a dark tone with two winged dragon/carp, each leaping in the midst of four fish of different kinds, all with underglaze-blue eyes, wood stand.

ProvenanceAcquired in Hong Kong in the 1950s-1960s. 

Note: A jar of similar shape, also decorated in copper-red with similar decoration, and dated Kangxi, is illustrated by John Ayers in Far Eastern Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1980, pl. 185, where the decoration is described as 'carp changing into dragons'. The transformation from carp to dragon symbolizes promotion to the position of official.

Christie’s. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 18 – 19 September 2014, New York, Rockefeller Plaza