Antique Wood Oil Lamp Double Fish Design, China (16902A-POK)


H: 33″  W: 5.75″  D: 8″

Oil lamps were a form of lighting similar to candles using a small pool of oil with a cord wick in the center.This tall unique wood carved lamp has the area holding the oil jutted out halfway up the piece in the center of a lotus seed pod placed on a lotus leaf, topped by a pair of facing fish with finely detailed scales on a square stone stand.


This charming oil lamp with a lacquer coating is decorated with highly recognized auspicious symbols and was used to entice positive energy and luck to the fortunate owners, especially as it related to marriage and fertility to produce many sons. Fish symbolize harmony, marital happiness and are known for their happiness swimming in their environment and double fish  mean “may there be abundance.” The oil cup is carved as a large lotus seed pod above an undulating lotus leaf. Two words for lotus are hehua, a pun for harmony (he) and lianhua, a homophone meaning successive or continuous (lian). They are symbols of a harmonious and fruitful marriage and also mean “the continuous birth of sons,” an idea central to Chinese culture. The lotus is an Asian and Buddhist symbol of purity.  Its seedpod (lianfang) blooms early and its many seeds are a symbol and harbinger of ‘the early arrival of sons.”  It may have originally been a gift for a newly wed couple and would serve the same purpose today.  In excellent condition, this was a well-used folk-art piece demonstrated by charred cup edges common to most antique wood oil lamps. This lamp pairs well with Antique Oil Wood Lamp (16902B-POK) and one or both may have been a gift for a newly married couple  to wish them well in marriage and in having sons. It is part of the VA Antique-Chinese-wood-carving Collection.

Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty



Materials and Technique

Wood, polychrome, lacquer

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 33” W: 5.75” D: 8”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 83.82cm W: 12.7cm 20.32cm


Excellent, no restoration/repairs.

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size


24” to 35.9”