Large vat with moulded decoration, cream glaze and iron-brown rim, Vietnam, Ming dynasty, circa 1600-1644. Height: 60 centimetres. Diameter: 74 centimetres. Purchased from George Eumorfopoulos.Bought with the help of public subscription. 1938,0524.117. British Museum © The Trustees of the British Museum.

This heavily potted round vat has a thickened overhanging rim and applied decoration beneath an uneven cream-coloured glaze. It is glazed neither inside nor on the base. Beneath the rim, which is painted dark brown, is a band of relief bosses and below this applied-relief lotus are arranged in waves with long stems, flowers and seed pods but no leaves. These undulating flowers are placed one above another above a raised band incised with a zigzag pattern.

Harrison-Hall 2001: 'Such large vats were probably made for growing lotus, in a garden. Lotus grow in muddy vats of water.'