Can you imagine that a pot with a hole in the bottom that can hold water without leaking? The Yaozhou celadon ewer with a five-petal-plum-blossom-shaped hole, dating to the Five Dynasties (907-960), is a good example.
Water is filled from the hole at the bottom of the ewer. It enters the ewer from a tube that links to the hole. So when the vessel resumes its right-side-up position, the water does not leak at all.
When reaching maximum volume, water will pour out from the spout, a reminder that it is too full.
The pot has a handle decorated with a bird and a spout carved in the shape of a lioness breast-feeding her cub. Interlocking peony patterns are engraved on the pot belly, under which lotus patterns are added.
Unearthed from Binxian county, Xianyang, Shaanxi province in 1968, the celadon pot is in the permanent collection of the Shaanxi History Museum. Its intricate design and exquisite decorations reflect its crafter’s wisdom and technique.