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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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dish

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,A.797

  • Description

    Porcelain dish. Decorated in wucai style with delicate underglaze blue and overglaze red, green, yellow and black enamels. Roundel inside painted with pair of goldfish in a lotus pond, and group of five fish among colourful water weeds in cavetto. Similar design on the exterior. There is an inscription on the base.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 19thC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 45 millimetres
    • Diameter: 202 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        base
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        在川知樂
      • Inscription Transliteration

        zai chuan zhi le
      • Inscription Translation

        appreciating happiness in the water
      • Inscription Comment

        Four-character inscription
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Qing Qianlong 1736-1795Room 95 label text:

    PDF A797

    Dish with fish design and inscription


    Chinese people regard fish as a rebus (visual pun) for abundance as the words for both fish 魚 and abundance 餘, are pronounced yu. This design of four fish may also be read as 'Be spotless and incorruptible' as each of the names of the different types of fish make up the pun. There is also a four-character inscription reading 在川知樂 (Zai chuan zhi le ‘appreciating happiness in the water’) in underglaze blue on the base.


    Porcelain with underglaze blue and overglaze red, green, yellow and black enamels
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Qing dynasty, about AD 1800–1900

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  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Colour pl. 101 and pp 318&319 (Inscription p. 278) bibliographic details
    • Pierson & Barnes 2002 p.44, no.35 (and base) bibliographic details
    • Medley 1978 p.55, no.188 bibliographic details
    • Feng 2006 p.76, no.A797, colour p.61 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case31/sh8

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,A.797

Porcelain dish. Decorated in wucai style with delicate underglaze blue and overglaze red, green, yellow and black enamels. Roundel inside painted with pair of goldfish in a lotus pond, and group of five fish among colourful water weeds in cavetto. Similar design on the outside. Inscription on base.

Porcelain dish. Decorated in wucai style with delicate underglaze blue and overglaze red, green, yellow and black enamels. Roundel inside painted with pair of goldfish in a lotus pond, and group of five fish among colourful water weeds in cavetto. Similar design on the outside. Inscription on base.

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Object reference number: RRC39712

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