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Date: early 18th century
Medium: porcelain and underglaze copper red
Overall: 4 7/8 x 9 1/8 in. (12.4 x 23.2 cm)
Classification: Containers
Credit Line: Gift of Stephen Junkunc III
Object number: 57.080.000
DescriptionWith its decoration of fish in a pond, depicted in underglaze copper red, the piece is a powerful study of movement and naturalism. In places the copper red has oxidized to form small green patches, which appear as green algae in the pond. The choice of red was deliberate, since the silted bottom of a fish pond, when disturbed would appear to be a dusty red. A mark on the underside is the ling-chih, the sacred fungus symbolizing immortality. In keeping with the overall aquatic design, the inside of the bowl is decorated with crabs. "Crab" is a homophone of the word designating those who passed the metropolitan examinations, which was the first step toward official rank.
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