On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 205

Vases in this shape have long been known as “prunus vases” or meiping, a Chinese term that is also a homonym for beautiful vessel. Despite their name, it seems likely that such vessels were used as bottles for wine or other beverages, as well as to display plum blossoms and other flowers.

Vase, Stoneware with white glaze (Cizhou ware), China

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