Waterdrupperlaar / waterdropper

Collectie: Princessehof Leeuwarden

  • Waterpot, shuihu, in vorm van 2 mandarijn eenden

    Waterdropper in the shape of a male and female mandarin duck, their bodies attached. On their joint backs a circular opening, the drake with its beak closed, the beak of the female duck serving as a spout. The base unglazed. The painted feathers white-edged, around the necks striations and the heads with dots. Mandarin ducks appear as a decorative design on porcelain as of the Yuan dynasty. Waterdroppers in the shape of ducks and other birds were popular from the second quarter of the 15th century until the end of the Ming. Examples combining underglaze blue with enamel colours date from the 16th century. As mandarin ducks were seen as an auspicious symbol of marital happiness, objects featuring them were popular wedding presents. These waterdroppers were both cherished in China as objects for the scholar's desk, used to dilute ink, and popular wares for export. Identical examples were retrieved from the wreck of the Lena Shoal junk (late 15th c.). A type of vessel consisting of two mandarin ducks facing each other with their beaks touching and an opening in their joint backs, thought to be a water pot, was also found. The Rijksmuseum has a rare mandarin duck waterdropper with its original cover. These covers are usually lost.

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