Chinese Bowl, Wanli (1572–1620), 17th Century
Chinese Ming blue and white bowl, 16th century, decorated with an underwater scene with fish, sea coral, fronds of sea plants and lotus flowers, the rim with a band of scrolling flowers and beribboned precious objects, the interior with a central roundel containing a qilin underneath a pine, the base with a four character mark meaning ‘ten thousand good fortunes’.
Available on request
A similar bowl can be found in the collection of the RijksMuseum (AK-RBK-1956-5). The word fish in Chinese (yu) is a homophone for ‘affluence’, and when portrayed together with a lotus, as seen here, the symbolism is of affluence year after year.