Plate, China

Plate, China

Plate
China
1683-1722
Museum no. C.769-1910

This blue and white dish features decoration of a dragon among clouds and a 'fish-dragon' among waves. In China dragons are an extremely popular decorative motif, found on many different kinds of objects and materials. As well as being one of the animals in the East Asian zodiac the dragon is generally regarded as a supernatural creature and is the subject of numerous Chinese legends. The 'fish-dragon' motif relates to a folk tale in which a golden carp, after leaping up the 'dragon' falls, is transformed into a dragon and flies away. This is regarded as a metaphor for success.