A cloisonné enamel twin-fish Buddhist altar ornament, 18th century. Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2014
Representing one of the Eight Buddhist Emblems (bajixiang), the altar ornament is in the shape of two ribbon-tied green fish flanking a central flower stem from which rises a flaming pearl (cintamani). The whole is supported on a separate gilt lotus socle of contemporaneous date, the base fitted with a copper plate inscribed with a double vajra. 5½ in. (14 cm.) high. Lot 609. Estimate $7,000 – $10,000
Provenance: Christie’s New York, 22 March 1999, lot 66.
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF DAVID B. PECK III
This altar ornament would have been part of a set representing the Eight Buddhist Emblems (bajixiang). Relatedcloisonné enamel ornaments representing three of the bajixiang, the Umbrella, the Canopy and the Endless Knot, are illustrated by Bèatrice Quette (ed.) in Cloisonné: Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, Bard Graduate Center, New York, 2011, p. 271, nos. 92-94, and pp. 126-27, figs. 6.40-6.42.
Christie’s. RIVERS OF COLOR: CLOISONNÉ ENAMELS FROM PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTIONS, 18 September 2014, New York, Rockefeller Plaza