A small Longquan celadon 'twin fish' dish, late Southern Song-Yuan dynasty, 13th-14th century

Lot 1275. A small Longquan celadon 'Twin fish' dish, late Southern Song-Yuan dynasty, 13th-14th century; 4 5/8 in. (12.7 cm.) diamEstimate USD 3,000 - USD 5,000Price realised USD 9,375. © Christie's Images Ltd 2013

The rounded sides that rise from the tapering foot to the everted rim are carved on the exterior with a band of upright petals, and the center of the interior is relief-decorated with two small fish, all under a glaze of sea-green color that also covers the interior of the foot, wood stand.

Note: Paired fish symbolize fertility and connubial bliss, and they are also one of the Eight Buddhist symbols.

Dishes of this type, known as 'twin fish' dishes, were popular products of the Longquan kilns during the late Southern Song to early Ming period. Similar Longquan celadon 'twin fish' dishes were recovered from the cargo of a trading vessel that sank off the coast of Sinan, South Korea, in the 1320s, and were included in the Special Exhibition of Cultural Relics Found off the Sinan Coast, National Museum of Korea, Seoul, 1977, pl. 28. Other examples are in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in Illustrated Catalogue of Sung Dynasty Porcelain in the National Palace Museum, Lung-chu'n Ware, Ko Ware and other Wares, Taipei, 1974, pl. 26, and in the Percival David Foundation, included in the Illustrated Catalogue of Celadon Wares, rev. ed., London, 1997, p. 27, no. 265.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of ArtNew York, 19 - 20 September 2013