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Chinese qingbai ceramic washer, 13th century, Southern Song dynasty.
Stock Number: 5080
Chinese qingbai ceramic washer showing a total of five fish (two in the well and three in the cavetto) swimming in stylised waves, 13th century, Southern Song dynasty, d. 14 cm, 5½ in; h. 2,8 cm, 1 in. 9-18168 Bespoke box.
Literature: Céramiques Chinoises d’Exportation pour l’Asie du Sud-Est, Collection du Ambassadeur et Madame Charles Müller, Fondation Baur, by M. Crick, 2010 Genève, pp.168/69, cat. 76 for a washer 14,3 cm in diameter with two impressed fish dated Southern Song.
◆ The rim is unglazed because this type of dishes was fired on their rims. Most of them had a metal band applied to the unglazed rim but few survive.
Qingbai ceramic wares were manufactured in Jingdezhen and other kilns since the 10th century.
The Chinese word for “fish” is pronounced the same way as “abundance” and a pair of fish represents “marital bliss”. Amongst the fish the carp was revered due to its perseverance and strength for swimming upriver and was associated with success.