China; Song dynasty; 11th-12th c.
In Chinese mythology these leaves symbolize plenty and in Buddhism they are shown on the Buddha's throne and symbolize perfection, purity and the summer month of July. The central pattern is composed of open peony flowers and tendrils below which are once more large lotus petals. Patterns such as this were executed with blunt ended bamboo sticks. Both the pattern and the dark green colour of glaze show this vase to have been made in Laofengashan near Wenzhou (South Song).