Fish appeared as decoration on Chinese ceramics as early as the Neolithic period, and remained a popular theme in Chinese art, especially in ceramics and paintings, ever since. Since the beginning of the 18th century tureens in the shape of an animal were made to order for the West; they were very popular and made in European factories as well. For a similar example see D.F. Lunsingh Scheurleer, Chinese Export Porcelain, London 1974, pp. 124, 125 and 220, fig.190.