KANGXI 1662 – 1722 Chinese Export Porcelain

A Kangxi Blue and White Export Porcelain Dish of European Form Decorated with Fish and Crabs Among Aquatic Plants.


Very good, two small glaze frits.
Diameter : 20.6 cm (8 inches).
Stock number
For a similar but larger Kangxi blue and white dish of this shape and design see : L`Odyssee De La Porcelaine Chinoise (Various Authors, Editions de la reunion des musees national Paris,2003. ISBN 2-7118-4601-6) Page 168 Item 68 Illustrated on page 129. For two 17th century white Deft Pottery examples of a similar shape to the present example see : Delft, Niederlandische Fayence (D.F Lunsingh Scheurleer, Klinkhardt & Bierman,1984. ISBN 1-7814-0211-8) Pages 238-239 items 155 and 156. For a Kangxi Porcelain dish of this type from the collection of Prof. Dr L. B. Holthuis of the Netherlands see `Sold` items 20098, 20099, 20101, Prof. Holthuis was a specialist of Crustacea at the National Museum of Natural History Naturalis in the Leiden, The Netherlands. The specices Macromia holthuisi is named after him. There are many other pieces from his collection illustrated in our `Sold` items, enter `Holthuis` in the search to find them.



Chinese Export Porcelain dishes of this shape and variants of it are well known and this specific shape was a popular one for this design. Originally deriving from silver, it is also common in Dutch Delft Ware, both in blue and white as well as plain white Delft pottery.

Fish / `Yu` :
The Chinese word for fish `Yu` is pronounced in the same way as the word for abundance. So fish have come to represent prosperity and the carp is often represented as sign of success because of its perseverance, swimming up river. Pairs of fish swimming together, representing marital bliss, were common from the Southern Song (1128-1279) but it was in the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) that fish swimming with aquatic plants became a common subject, the patterns were based on popular designs found in Southern China. Some of the earliest Chinese blue and white porcelain (c.1320-1350) depicts fish swimming with plants, frequently lotus as this represented purity. These Yuan designs were shown in the center of bowls and dishes surrounded by concentric geometric borders.It was not until the 16th century that freer, more open designs of fish swimming among sea weed and crabs were popular.