China; Ming dynasty; 14th c.
The decorative motifs on the pot are painted in cobalt blue under the glaze. There are six oval fields with flowers, leaves and vignetted clouds on the neck, the bottom of which is ornamented with quadrangular patterns and the shoulders with tendrils and camellia flowers. Six medallions with herons and deer, symbols of longevity, are found on the belly. Between the medallions three-pronged tendrils emerge from the circle. Phytomorphic and geometrical motifs alternate at the bottom of the vase. The thick glaze is unevenly applied in some areas and black stains are visible on the cobalt drawing, as the result of an error during firing typical of the early porcelain of the Ming period.