A blue and white porcelain bottle vase
Kangxi period, 1662-1722 AD, China
Length: 23 cm, Height: 18 cm
The vase with bulbous body rising from a short foot ring, the tall slender neck slightly flared at the mouth. The design consists of a turbulent sea or lake, with waves crashing around rocks, amongst which a pavilion rises from the waves, enclosing a leaping carp within an open colonnaded room. Above, a dragon’s tail encircles the neck of the bottle, its writhing body descending above the foaming water; with legs spread apart each flashing four claws, and a fierce two horned head with open mouth, all amongst stylised clouds. The underglaze blue is of a particularly good colour in three tones. The base is unglazed, slightly concave and conical in the potting.
The carp leaping over a dragon gate ‘Liyu Tiao Long Men, was used as a metaphor for a scholar’s success in passing the very difficult examinations, required for entry into imperial administrative service, and more generally, if a person works hard and diligently, success will follow.
An American private collection.
A dealers record, The Chinese Porcelain Company 1985-2000, page 106.