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A YELLOW JADE 'DRAGON-FISH' VASE
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A YELLOW JADE 'DRAGON-FISH' VASE

QING DYNASTY, 18TH/19TH CENTURY

Details
A YELLOW JADE 'DRAGON-FISH' VASE
QING DYNASTY, 18TH/19TH CENTURY
The jade is carved in the round in the form of a small carp on one side, conjoined with a larger two-horned scaly dragon carp with large C-shaped fins on the other side, its agape mouth forming the opening to the hollow interior, above cresting waves and rocky outcrops. The jade is of an even yellow tone with areas of russet inclusions.
4 3/4 in. (12 cm.) wide, box

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Lot Essay

The swimming fish design was a very popular subject-matter among jade carvings of the early Qing period. This auspicious imagery is symbolic of the mythical legend of the carp reaching the upper courses of the Yellow River and leaping up the rapids at Dragon Gate where it transforms into a dragon. This feat is compared to success in the state examinations and the transformation from carp to dragon symbolising a promotion to the highest rank as an official.

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