China; Ming dynasty; 14th c.
The thin walls of the teapot and the exquisite carving create an illusion of the lightness of material which is in contrast to the hardness of jade. A cartouche is modelled on both sides of the belly with the motifs of longevity: a pine-tree, a heron, a peach in the hands of an old bearded man and a deer. The widened part of the spout ends in a tiger mask. The vessel was probably used for serving warmed-up alcoholic drink.