Skip to main content

Carp-shaped wall vase: C.40-1998

An image of Vase

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

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

Relative size of this object

15.5 cm24.2 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

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: Thursday 8 April 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Carp-shaped wall vase" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-03-30 20:21:56

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Carp-shaped wall vase |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-03-30 20:21:56|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="Carp-shaped wall vase"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Carp-shaped wall vase</figcaption>

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like


Accession Number: MAR.C.80-1912


Accession Number: C.89-1934

Vase and cover

Accession Number: OC.94 & A-1946


Accession Number: O.94-1946

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...