Chinese famille verte gin flask, Kangxi (1662-1722), with later European ormolu mount, the square-section body with four panels variously containing branches of flowering peony with butterflies, scholar’s objects around a vase of lotus on a stand, birds flying above flowering prunus issuing from rockwork, and a riverscape scene of a fisherman in a boat with a distant rider and further figure on the bank, all within bands of keyfret pattern in underglaze blue, the shoulders with stylised floral sprays and the neck encircled by a scrolling band, surmounted by an ormolou gilt lid in the form of a lotus flower.
Height without cover: 23.5cm. (9¼ in.)
Some fritting to sides
The depiction of solitary figures such as fishermen or poets within dramatic landscapes in Chinese art is connected to the literati ideal of rejecting society, with all of its trappings and material concerns, in favour of a simpler life of solitude. For a similar example see the National Trust Collection, (Trerice, Cornwall) NT 336503.