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Subject:What is it? Really, really old Chinese porcelain something...but what?
Posted By: JayC Sat, Apr 07, 2018 IP: 97.118.115.241

This is a curiosity. I'm not even sure it's Chinese though the gourd shape and leaves, with the added butterflies, certainly looks like Chinese origin to me. It's shaped like a teapot but there's no lid and other than the spout the only hole is the one on the bottom...and it's glazed so original to the piece. What could this have been used for? How old could it be? Is it Chinese (there are no marks)? It is a conundrum to me but, perhaps, not to everyone. Any help would be appreciated.







Subject:Re: What is it? Really, really old Chinese porcelain something...but what?
Posted By: TD Sun, Apr 08, 2018

A modern “cadogan” wine or hot water pot in the style of Song
dynasty “guanyao” with a “Zi Jin Tu” or purple-gold clay body
and covered with a crackled glaze. You might try filling the pot
through the hole in the bottom and quickly turning it right side up to pour out the liquid.

Subject:Re: What is it? Really, really old Chinese porcelain something...but what?
Posted By: JayC Sun, Apr 08, 2018

Adding some more pictures to show the butterflies, they are lavendar in color. I think this is a water dropper, used in calligraphy, but I can't find an air hole...it may be under the top butterfly. Any help would be great!







Subject:Re: What is it? Really, really old Chinese porcelain something...but what?
Posted By: Tim Sun, Apr 08, 2018

Probably others will respond, but it is referred to as a 'puzzle' ewer. It is filled by holding it submerged in water (or wine) upside down. Then, when put upright, the liquid remains inside due to a reverse funnel shaped tube on the inside.

They seem to date back to as far as the Song/Yuan dynasty, but perhaps earlier...not too sure.

Yours looks like it is well made and has age, but I couldn't give an accurate assessment of age due to my lack of experience on this type of porcelain.

Hope this helps

Subject:Re: What is it? Really, really old Chinese porcelain something...but what?
Posted By: JayC Mon, Apr 09, 2018

THANK YOU! I wonder how many people are like me and won't put anything into one of these tea pots due to fear of making a mess? The pot came back with a vet who had spent time in the Pacific during both WW2 and in Korea during the Korean war (conflict). Even his daughters didn't know what it was or how it worked. I just tested it and the pot does hold water! Again, thank you!



Subject:Re: What is it? Really, really old Chinese porcelain something...but what?
Posted By: JayC Thu, Apr 12, 2018

Hello, again!

After further research I'm thinking, again, that this is a water dropper or "dao guan hu" and is very old...not modern as TD has suggested, (I have handled quite a few old Chinese ceramic pieces and am pretty good at telling the difference between old glaze and modern). I want to thank both TD and Tim Sun for their help and have included a few more pics. There is a robin's egg blue tint at the juncture of the lobed foot base and body of the vessel that I have tried to show and some more of the extremely fine detail work of the potter.








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