A pair of Arita Zoomorphic ewers, late 17th Century.

Each of the ewers, which are 19.1cm in height, is modelled in the form of a leaping carp. The globular lower section is moulded to represent lotus leaves and foaming water, (a touch of artistic license, since the lotus grows only in calm water), whilst the upper section, as the half-emerged fish, forms the neck of the vessel; the moulded two halves are luted vertically. According to Eastern tradition, carp, whose courage and strength allowed them to leap up waterfalls, were transmuted into dragons, which in East Asia are beneficent, though awesome spirits.



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