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Goldfish is often found as a decorative motif in Chinese art. According to Chinese tradition, keeping goldfish in the house is considered auspicious, since the name for ‘goldfish’ (jin yu 金鱼) puns on the Chinese words for ‘gold 金 jin’ and ‘jade 玉 yu’ as well as the phrase ‘abundance of gold’, therefore referring to family wealth.
Related Pun Pictures:
Fig 1-2: porcelain vase, Qianlong period (1736–95), Qing dynasty, courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei
Fig 3: ink and colour on paper fan, Qing dynasty (1644–1911), courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei
Fig 4: paper fan, Qing dynasty (1644–1911), courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei
Fig 5: glass snuff-bottle, 1903, courtesy of Palace Museum, Beijing