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Carp-shaped wall vase: C.40-1998

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Carp-shaped wall vase






Hard paste porcelain decorated underglaze in blue and overglaze in red, pale-red, and violet enamels, and gold. The carp, hollow-moulded, leaps upwards supported by its curling tail and rests on a simple base with an uneven and gritty underside. The body is finely moulded with scales and gills, and the fins and tail finely incised. The head, upper half of the body, dorsal fin and tail are covered in a wash of underglaze blue, the lower half with pale red enamel and covered with a bluish glaze; details of the tail, fins and head are outlined in gold; the large open mouth is picked out in red and gold and a beady eye in gold with a recessed pupil. The back of the model is flat and undecorated except where the underglaze blue has flowed. A hole is pierced in the centre of the back for suspension and at the base of the tail.


History note: Umezawa, from whom purchased by the donor

Legal notes

Given by Miss Irene Finch

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 13.3 cm
Height: 24.2 cm
Width: 15.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Arita ⪼ Japan

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1998-10-12) by Finch, Irene, Miss


18th Century
Circa 1700 - Circa 1800


Wall vases are very rare - most models are free-standing. This may be the original type for the domestic market, from which the numerous export models were derived. The colours are particularly suited to model fish.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( ied, pale-red, and violet enamels) cobalt-blue gold

Materials used in production

Hard-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Glazing (coating) : Hard-paste porcelain decorated underglaze in blue and overglaze in red, pale-red, gold and violet enamels, and gold

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.40-1998
Primary reference Number: 28771
Irene Finch collection: 97/45
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Friday 29 September 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Carp-shaped wall vase" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-02 00:22:17

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