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Unusual style of fishes

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I am always delighted when I find a 'new' type of counter: it doesn't happen all that often now. So when I received this group of fishes, you will imagine my response. I bought these without seeing a detailed picture of the fishes but from what I had seen of them, I suspected that they were at the very least rather unusual. In truth I had once seen a fish which was similar to the second illustration some time ago. But when I opened up the package I was delighted. The fishes are quite large at 2 1/2 inches long and made of very good quality, quite thick mother-of-pearl. The also all bear the monogram 'I' or 'J' which is very interesting indeed; they have the back-hatching which shows that they were a commissioned set from Canton - so once more pretty special. They have so much more 'movement' and individual character than the standard billing-birds fishes! Makes me wish that I could have seen the set when they were complete - there were in total only four of these little beauties with two of the  bottom one shown. They must have been quite a set. I wonder how many there were and if there were any variations other than these three different types: were there any larger or smaller ones? Were there counters other than fishes in the original set?? I suspect that there must have been - but what were they? The monogram may help to answer that question in the fullness of time!

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