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BLUE AND WHITE SMALL PORCELAIN DISH

KANGXI PERIOD (1662-1722)

15.9 cm diameter

The thinly potted dish rises from a short tapering foot to shallow sides with slightly rounded everted rim. The center is painted in underglaze blue with a tall dragon emerging from crested waves, looking down at a carp on the lower left side. The everted rim is decorated with plum blossoms reserved against repeated crested waves. The reverse is adorned with water plants. The base is painted with a ritual bronze vessel within a double ring.

The subject seen on this fine dish refers to the carp leaping upstream trying to reach the Dragon Gate and transform into a dragon. This ancient tale is traditionally associated with the scholar passing the civil service examinations to ultimately becoming a high official.

Provenance:

Formerly in a Dutch private collection