A Chinese “duck and lotus” water dropper decorated with famille verte enamels on the biscuit. Kangxi

Modelled as a duck attached to an lotus leaf, to which a small piece of foliage is attached. The water dropper is painted with famille verte enamels on the biscuit and a thin clear glaze wash.

Period :
Kangxi (1662-1722)
Porcelain (biscuit)
2.36 in. / 3.54 in. / 3.74 in. (6 cm / 9 cm / 9.5 cm)
Reference :

Related works

Similar water droppers, decorated with famille verte enamels on the biscuit, are in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, the Marie Vergottis Collection and the Copeland Collection at the Peabody Essex Museum. Another example belongs to the Koger Collection.

The Anthony de Rotschild collection contained several similar water droppers which are decorated with turquoise and purple glazes on the biscuit.

A similar example is illustrated by Jorge Welsh in Biscuit: Refined Chinese Famille Verte Wares, Jorge Welsh Books, 2012, p. 128, no. 32.


This object may have combined function as a water dropper and brush washer. Birds were often modelled as small pratical items in ceramics. A pair of ducks is most commonly known to be a symbol of matrimony, as they mate for life. Together with the lotus leaf, which  can also symbolise marriage, this object conveys a simple blessing.

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