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Chinese Fish Statues

Chinese fish statues are traditionally given as gifts with hopes of bringing good luck to the receiver. The Chinese character for fish, very similar to the Chinese character meaning “surplus” or “abundance," is an important symbol of luck and prosperity in Chinese culture.

According to Chinese mythology, a carp that is able to leap the falls in the Yellow River would be magically transformed into a dragon. This motif of a carp leaping out of water is typically used to symbolize success in civil service examinations that the Chinese took in imperial China in order to join the bureaucracy.

The fish motif, particularly that of a carp, also symbolizes perseverance as children grow and mature. A pair of carp, or koi fish, represents fertility as fish reproduce very rapidly and have many offspring.


Quick Facts

  • The scales of the mythological dragon are borrowed from the carp
  • The fish, magpie, lotus, and the Chinese character for “year” translate visually to mean having more happiness year after year
  • Having a Chinese fish statue in your home is thought to bring longevity because carp are able to live up to 75 years

Recommended Items at Auction

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Pair Chinese cloisonne kingfishers
Mar 07, 10:00 AM EST
Pair Chinese cloisonne kingfishers
by Millea Bros Ltd
Est: $100- $150
$602 Bids
A Chinese jadeite lotus and fish toggle, 19th century
Mar 15, 9:00 AM EDT
A Chinese jadeite lotus and fish toggle, 19th century
by Oakridge Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $200
$1001 Bid
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Chinese Silver Enamel Articulated Gold Fish Ornament
Mar 12, 2:00 PM EDT
Chinese Silver Enamel Articulated Gold Fish Ornament
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $200- $800
$201 Bid
CHINESE ANTIQUE JADE ORNAMENT, 'LAIN NIAN YOU YU'
Mar 06, 9:30 AM EST
CHINESE ANTIQUE JADE ORNAMENT, 'LAIN NIAN YOU YU'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $500- $1,000
$4000 Bids
CHINESE HETIAN JADE ORNAMENT, 'LIAN NIAN YOU YU'
Mar 06, 9:30 AM EST
CHINESE HETIAN JADE ORNAMENT, 'LIAN NIAN YOU YU'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $500- $1,000
$4000 Bids
CHINESE HETIAN JADE ORNAMENT, 'LIAN NIAN YOU YU'
Mar 15, 9:30 AM EDT
CHINESE HETIAN JADE ORNAMENT, 'LIAN NIAN YOU YU'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $2,500- $6,000
$1,4000 Bids
CHINESE HETIAN JADE ORNAMENT, 'LIAN NIAN YOU YU'
Mar 15, 9:30 AM EDT
CHINESE HETIAN JADE ORNAMENT, 'LIAN NIAN YOU YU'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $7,000- $20,000
$4,5000 Bids
CHINESE HETIAN JADE ORNAMENT, 'NIAN NIAN YOU YU'
Mar 15, 9:30 AM EDT
CHINESE HETIAN JADE ORNAMENT, 'NIAN NIAN YOU YU'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $1,000- $2,500
$7000 Bids
CHINESE HETIAN JADE ORNAMENT, 'NIAN NIAN YOU YU'
Mar 15, 9:30 AM EDT
CHINESE HETIAN JADE ORNAMENT, 'NIAN NIAN YOU YU'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $600- $1,500
$5000 Bids
CHINESE HETIAN WHITE JADE ORNAMENT, 'FISH'
Mar 15, 9:30 AM EDT
CHINESE HETIAN WHITE JADE ORNAMENT, 'FISH'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $25,000- $75,000
$18,0000 Bids
CHINESE HETIAN JADE ORNAMENT, 'FISH'
Mar 06, 9:30 AM EST
CHINESE HETIAN JADE ORNAMENT, 'FISH'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $1,200- $3,000
$8000 Bids
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Chinese Russet White Jade Catfish
Mar 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Chinese Russet White Jade Catfish
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $200- $400
$700 Bids
Lot of 2 Chinese Jade Fish Carvings
Mar 10, 10:00 AM EST
Lot of 2 Chinese Jade Fish Carvings
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $75- $100
$300 Bids
CHINESE JADEITE HANDPIECE, 'NIAN NIAN YOU YU'
Mar 15, 9:30 AM EDT
CHINESE JADEITE HANDPIECE, 'NIAN NIAN YOU YU'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $1,800- $4,500
$1,2000 Bids
A PAIR OF CHINESE BRONZED-METAL MODELS OF FISH
Mar 13, 9:30 AM GMT
A PAIR OF CHINESE BRONZED-METAL MODELS OF FISH
by Elstob Auctioneers
Est: £150- £250
£700 Bids
玉巧雕雙魚
Mar 24, 1:00 PM CST
玉巧雕雙魚
by Treasure Art
Est: NT$0- NT$0
NT$5,0000 Bids
A Chinese Carved Jade Double Fishes Ornament
Mar 14, 2:00 PM PDT
A Chinese Carved Jade Double Fishes Ornament
by Walnut Tree Auction House, Inc
Est: $2,400- $3,400
$4000 Bids
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Set Chinese Jade Carved Dragon Fish
Mar 23, 11:00 AM PDT
Set Chinese Jade Carved Dragon Fish
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
Chinese Export Enameled Silver Articulated Koi Fish
Mar 06, 11:00 AM EST
Chinese Export Enameled Silver Articulated Koi Fish
by Gray's Auctioneers
Est: $400- $600
$2000 Bids
A Chinese carved jade 'fish' figure, Ming dynasty
Mar 15, 9:00 AM EDT
A Chinese carved jade 'fish' figure, Ming dynasty
by Oakridge Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $200
$1000 Bids
Chinese White Jade Carved Fish
Mar 06, 10:00 AM CET
Chinese White Jade Carved Fish
by Artia Auktionshus
Est: €500- €750
€5000 Bids
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A CELADON JADE CARVING OF A 'DRAGON FISH' 20th century
Mar 18, 1:00 PM EDT
A CELADON JADE CARVING OF A 'DRAGON FISH' 20th century
by Bonhams
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$1,5000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Fish Statues


Merces Gallery LLC

Merces Gallery LLC

Oakridge Auction Gallery

Oakridge Auction Gallery

Wealthier Art & Auction

Wealthier Art & Auction

Millea Bros Ltd

Millea Bros Ltd