Lidded Vessel with Lotus Design
Item No. 19222
Sung Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.), N/A, China
15" x 0" x 0"
( 38.1 x 0 x 0 cm)
(H x W x D)
This footed earthenware vessel may well have been used in a Buddhist religious context, an assumption based on the lotus imagery from which it was designed. The lotus was often compared to Buddhism in literature, as the flower, like the religion itself, had the ability to grow out of the muck and mire of a ditch into something beautiful, calming and spiritual. Moreover, like the lotus reaching out of the sludge of a marsh towards the sun, the adherent to Buddhism was able to rise above the mundane world full of wants and desires and strive to reach towards enlightenment.
The vessel is shaped in similar form to a closed lotus bud, one of which adorns the top of the lid of the vessel and acts as its handle. Lotus petals decorate the lid, and “reverse lotus leaves” in black and in red and green adorn the sides of the body of the vessel. Lines etched into the body both outline other lotus petals and are used to decorate the inside of the largest leaves. Below are two rows of applied “fluttering” petal-like decorations, and the entire piece rests on a rounded flaring foot.