19th May, 2023 13:00

Asian Art I

  Lot 24

宋或元 龍泉青釉印雙魚折沿盤


Song / Yuan Dynasty

宋或元 龍泉青釉印雙魚折沿盤

The dish with plain rounded sides rising from a gently-tapering foot to a wide flared rim, the well decorated with a pair of finely-moulded fish and covered overall in a thick pale-green glaze that thins to a mushroom tone at the extremities,

13cm diameter



Property of a French Private Collection formed in Hong Kong during the 1960’s-1980’s



Dishes of this type typically bear an upright petal design around the exterior, as can be seen in many examples found in major museum collections and offered at auction. The present lot differs from these examples, eschewing the upright-petal design in favour of elegantly plain outer walls. A comparable dish with this same design, dated to the Southern Song Dynasty, was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28th May 2014, lot 3228.

Paired dishes are symbolic of fertility and marital bliss. The motif can be traced back to the Han Dynasty - for example, bronze vessels decorated with the 'twin fish' motif were popular from the Eastern Han Dynasty to the Jin Dynasty. A bronze basin with a twin-fish decoration to the interior is housed in the Lee Kong Chian Art Museum in Singapore, and illustrated in 'Lee Kong Chian Art Museum Catalogue: National University of Singapore', Singapore, 1990, p. 306, no. 336.

These bronze vessels were used as prototypes, inspiring future potters to craft wares with similar designs. Yue wares from the Western Jin Dynasty bearing the paired fish motif have since been unearthed, and a basin of this type with incised decoration is illustrated by S. Pierson, in 'Illustrated Catalogue of Celadon Wares in the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art', 1997, p.39, no.250. Notably the design on this basin illustrates the pair of fish side-by-side, as is also found on earlier bronze wares, rather than the circular 'swimming' depiction found on later ceramics.

Later celadon-glazed ceramics bearing this design were popular, with the Longquan kilns being the centre of production during the late Southern Song Dynasty and up until the Ming Dynasty. Some examples of these wares, dated to the 1320s, have been recovered from the cargo of a trading vessel that sank near the coast of Sinan in South Korea, and are included in 'Special Exhibition of Cultural Relics Found off the Sinan Coast', National Museum of Korea, Seoul, 1977, pl. 28.

c.f. Similar dishes, dated to the Yuan Dynasty, can be found in the British Museum collection, donated by Sir Percival David, acc. nos. 1931,1118.1 and 1931,1118.2. A pair of similar dishes were offered at Bonhams Hong Kong, 26th May 2014, lot 87.


Estimated at £6,000 - £8,000


Do you have an item similar to the item above? If so please click the link below to submit a free online valuation request through our website.



Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.