End of Year Timed Auction Highlight: Goldfish Cup

RCB Auctions bids you a Happy New Year's, as well as wishes of abundance. To celebrate the new year, RCB presents our end-of-year Timed Auction running from 30 December 2021 until 8 January 2022. Our highlight piece, a blue and white porcelain drinking cup painted with goldfish swimming among aquatic plants is a symbol that illustrates wishes of wealth for the recipient.

Blue and White porcelain Goldfishes pattern

The goldfish are descendants of carps, as a result of a natural mutation in China around the late Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD). Through the centuries, keeping domesticated goldfish in home gardens and ponds was fashioned among the imperial family and common folk. This explains why porcelain fishbowls are popular products, as goldfish were considered household ornaments or pets. Furthermore, goldfish or 金魚 (Jīnyú) are auspicious animals because the first letter 金 (Jīn) means ‘gold’, and the second letter ‘fish’ or 魚 (yú) is a homophone for ‘abundance’ or 餘 (Yú). Therefore, goldfish symbolize a blessing of abundant gold or wealth. For those who do not keep these golden fish as pets, decorative images of the goldfish on objects are universal in China, such as on blue and white porcelain.

The blue and white porcelain cup is decorated around the exterior with fourteen goldfish and aquatic reeds. The shape of the cup is designed for drinking cold water, with slight flaring rims. The cup was produced for export, indicated by the ‘chakra’ hallmark at the base. The ‘Chakra’ crest suggests that this cup was ordered by a branch of the Thai royal palace.

Browse and bid on the Auction here.