RARE ET IMPORTANTE TERRINE COUVERTE EN FORME DE CARPE ET UN PLAT DE PRESENTATION EN PORCELAINE DE LA FAMILLE ROSE
RARE ET IMPORTANTE TERRINE COUVERTE EN FORME DE CARPE ET UN PLAT DE PRESENTATION EN PORCELAINE DE LA FAMILLE ROSE

CHINE, DYNASTIE QING, EPOQUE QIANLONG (1736-1795)

Details
RARE ET IMPORTANTE TERRINE COUVERTE EN FORME DE CARPE ET UN PLAT DE PRESENTATION EN PORCELAINE DE LA FAMILLE ROSE
CHINE, DYNASTIE QING, EPOQUE QIANLONG (1736-1795)
The large fish is realistically modelled lying on its side with its head and tail curving upwards, and its scales delicately painted in iron-red and black embellished with gilt and blue. The upper fins are enamelled in a deep bluish-grey, with the tail shading through yellow and then pink towards the outer edges which are tinged in a deep puce tone. The head is delicately shaded in iron-red darkening from the open gilt-rimmed mouth towards the upper side of the body. The upper side of the tail is painted with a circular cartouche enclosing gilt flowers. The detachable flat cover is surmounted by a small carp-form finial. The lobed presentation dish is decorated with two bands of iron-red and gilt spearheads; small restorations.



Tureen: 18 7/8 in. (48 cm.) long; Stand: 19 5/8 in. (50 cm.) long
Provenance
Formerly in a Spanish collection.
Collection of Dr. José Rezende Elvas, Portugal, acquired over 15 years ago.
Post lot text
A RARE AND IMPORTANT FAMILLE ROSE 'CARP' TUREEN AND COVER WITH A STAND
CHINA, QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)

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Fiona Braslau
Fiona Braslau

Lot Essay

The carp has long been a symbol of prosperity and success in China, and is often used as shape and decoration in the decorative arts. In Chinese legend the carp swims upstream to the Dragon Gate and in leaping the gate is transformed into a dragon. Much of the popularity of fish as a decorative theme, especially in later dynasties, hinges on the fact that the word for fish ( yu) is a homophone for the word for 'abundance', and the word for carp (li) a homophone for the word for 'gift'.
The animal-form tureen was an amusing conceit made by European faience factories, soft-paste factories and hard-paste factories, and quickly taken up by the Chinese in the 18th century. Known Chinese export models include the famed boar's heads, oxen heads, geese, ducks and roosters, and also the aquatic animals, turtles and fish.
The most closely related European fish tureens, which may have been a source of inspiration for this model, are those made at Chelsea, circa 1755, albeit in very small quantities. The Chelsea tureens are somewhat smaller (approximately 40 cm. long), are similarly modelled, but are depicted without the opening at the mouth, and without the head and tail curling upwards; the cover is formed as the upper half of the entire fish.
Compare the Chinese small carp tureen (21.6 cm. long) decorated in iron-red and gilt from the Mottahedeh collection, Howard and Ayers, China for the West, London and New York, 1978, vol.II, no. 612, p. 588, which is similarly modelled to the Chelsea examples but is depicted with raised head and tail. For two other very rare sets including a boar's head tureen and its presentation dish, see 'Du Tage à la Mer d'Egée - Une Epopée Portuguaise', catalogue, Palacio Nacional de Queluz, 30 March-30 April 1992 and Muséé National des Arts Asiatique, Guimet, Paris, 19 May-31 August 1992, pp.182-183, pl.86.
Also compare to a very similar Qianlong period armorial 'carp' tureen and cover, sold in Christie's Paris, 13 June 2007, lot 279.





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