[Dish with Recumbent Elephant Surrounded by Clouds, Vietnam, 15th–16th century,
Stoneware with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.]
Clearly more alert than me last Thursday, Emile de Bruijn noticed what appears to be a blue cloud motif used as the 'roof' of an embroidered pagoda pictured in one of my posts. (He actually commented that the form might also be the auspicious lingzhi fungus motif, but I wanted to run with the cloud idea.) Sifting through pictures of Chinese porcelain, I came across something that made me shift gears -- a very old Vietnamese stoneware dish.
The Met says it's among the finest of the fine, based on Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) blue-and-white pieces, but executed in a thoroughly Vietnamese style with the relaxed elephant and abstracted clouds. I love the Vietnamese interpretation and think it makes a nice follow-up to this post.
BTW: This dish may have been recovered from a shipwreck. For more on "shipwreck china," see these links from a past post: Sultan's Lost Treasure and Sotheby's podcast about the the Ca Mau shipwreck, circa 1725.