About this object

History of use

Not only Chinese porcelain, but also the products of the Annamese kilns were exported to Southeast Asia, where they often became valued for medicinal or ritual purposes.

Iconographic meaning

The Chinese lion symbol is derived from the Buddhist lion, who is a defender of law and a protector of sacred buildings. The lotus is a Buddhist symbol of purity and perfection.

Physical description

Bottle that is octagonal in cross section with a large base, a narrow neck, and a flaring mouth. Fine hard grey-white porcelaneous body; outwardly flaring foot that is unglazed; traces of pale yellow glaze on base. Pattern in underglaze blue: deep band of upright lotus panels; two lions, one each on opposing sides of the vessel, playing with brocaded balls trailing ribbons, and surrounded with cloud forms; all freely executed in blue washes outlined in dark blue; surmounted by another band of lotus panels, pendant; a narrow band of crosses enclosed within circles; and a high band of upright banana leaves above.