Mallet-shaped vase

Vase, with two handles in form of fish with dragon head.
Clay: hard, dense, grayish.
Glaze: lustrous celadon.

Historical period(s)
Southern Song or Yuan dynasty, late 13th-early 14th century
Stoneware with celadon glaze
Longquan ware
H x W: 25.9 x 11.3 cm (10 3/16 x 4 7/16 in)
China, Zhejiang province, Longquan, Probably Dayao kiln
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


China, dragon, fish, green glaze, Longquan ware, Southern Song dynasty (1127 - 1279), stoneware, Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)

From at least 1937
C. T. Loo & Company, New York from at least February 1, 1937 [1]

From 1937
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company on May 3, 1937 [2]


[1] C. T. Loo's Approval Memo, dated February 1, 1937, copy in object file.

[2] See C. T. Loo's invoice, dated May 3, 1937, copy in object file. See also C. T. Loo's stockcard no. 9317: "One large Lung-Chuan vase with fish handles coated all over with a very fine green glaze. Sung. Wooden stand," C. T. Loo & Frank Caro Archive, Musée Guimet, Paris, copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948


Vase, with two handles in form of fish with dragon head.
Clay: hard, dense, grayish.
Glaze: lustrous celadon.


The smooth, luminous blue-green glaze of this vase is characteristic of celadon made in Longquan, in south China, during the late thirteenth to early fourteenth century. The handles, molded in the shape of fish with dragon heads, provide the sole decoration. Although the shape is modeled after a bronze vase, the texture of the Longquan glaze is often compared to jade, a prized material in China. Vases like this were made for domestic use and export.

Published References
  • Mayuyama Junkichi. "Obei shuzo Chugoku toji zuroku." Chinese Ceramics in the West: A Compendium of Chinese Ceramic Masterpieces in European and American Collection. Tokyo. plate 56.
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 40.
  • Mayuyama Junkichi. Obei shuzo chugoku toji zuroku [Chinese Ceramics in the West]. Tokyo. pl. 56.
  • Hai wai i chen [Chinese Art in Overseas Collections]. Taipei, 1985. vol. 3: p. 118.
  • Warren E. Cox. The Book of Pottery and Porcelain. 2 vols., New York. vol. 1: p. 155.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 89, vol. 1: p. 174.
  • Around Chigusa: Tea and The Arts of Sixteenth-Century Japan. Princeton, New Jersey. p. 46, fig. 4.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 69.
  • The Horizon Book of the Arts of China. New York. p. 246.
  • Sherman Lee. A History of Far Eastern Art. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1964. p. 369, fig. 485.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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