It is interesting to note that carnelian bottles with these distinct coral-red and white markings were often used to depict fish, either as the decoration on the bottle or of fish form. Hugh Moss, Victor Graham and Ka Bo Tsang in The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle, The J & J Collection, p. 258, no. 162, note that there is a breed of fan-tailed goldfish from China which has random coral and white markings all over its body. This stone would therefore have proved a particularly appropriate material to depict them.
For another carnelian bottle carved with intertwined carp, see Robert W. L. Kleiner, Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of Mary and George Bloch, Hong Kong, 1987, Catalogue, p. 121, no. 171.
For a jade bottle carved with four fish, see Christie's, New York, The Reif Collection, 18 October 1993, lot 54.
The theme of a carp or goldfish with a lotus leaf expresses a wish for continuing prosperity