THE FLEISHER COLLECTION OF JADES
A similar carving of a seated fisherman, in the Tianjin Museum, Tianjin, is illustrated in Jade Wares Collection by Tianjin Museum, Beijing, 2012, pl. 202; another of smaller size, from the collection of Roger Chow, was included in the exhibition Exquisite Jade Carving, Art Gallery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1995, cat. no. 40; and two carvings of standing fisherman were sold these rooms, the first, 11th November 1990, lot 64, and the second, 9th November 2005, lot 587.
Fishermen represent one of the Four Basic Occupations, and have long been associated in Chinese folklore with the scholarly ideals of isolation and a simple life. The most famous scholar in Chinese mythology is Jiang Ziya (ca. 11th century BC), a military adviser to King Wen and King Wu of Zhou, who became a fisherman during his exile. Moreover, depictions of fisherman (yuweng) and carps (liyou) is homophonous with yuwen deli, a pun on the phrase ‘the fisherman received profit’.
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