Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Lidded box

  • Place of origin:

    Fujian (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 13th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain with moulded decoration and green lead glaze

  • Credit Line:

    Given by John Ayers

  • Museum number:

    FE.1:1, 2-2001

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 2, shelf 4 []

Physical description

Small box with lid and moulded decoration. Made of greyish porcelain containing iron specks and impurities; the round form is slightly irregular. Inside base and lid the glaze is clear. The outside of the base including the foot-ring has a shiny green lead glaze. The outside of the lid also bears green lead glaze that is paler in colour and dull, and the tortoise in the centre is left unglazed. The box has a moulded design of a central tortoise surrounded by a serpent (symbolising the direction north) with waterweed and a crab round the edge.

Place of Origin

Fujian (made)


ca. 13th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Porcelain with moulded decoration and green lead glaze


Height: 5.5 cm, Width: 6.4 cm box, Width: 4 cm foot

Descriptive line

Box with lid, porcelain with moulded decoration of a tortoise, snake, crayfish and crab under a green lead glaze; Fujian province, South China, Southern Song-Yuan Dynasty, ca. 13th century.


Porcelain; Lead glaze


Moulded; Glazed

Subjects depicted

Tortoise; Crabs; Serpents


Ceramics; Porcelain; Containers


East Asia Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.

We need your help

Hello. We are working to improve our collections online and would like to understand better how our visitors use our site. Please could you spare two minutes to answer some questions?
Take the survey
No thanks. Continue to the V&A website