KANGXI 1662 – 1722 Blue and White Porcelain

A Very Rare, Perhaps Un-Recored, Small Kangxi Blue and White Bian Hu or Baoyue Ping `Moon Flask` with Integral Biscuit Porcelain `Straw`. Kangxi Period c.1690-1710.


The handles replaced, chip to the flange of the cover repaired.
Height : 15 cm (6 inches)
Stock number


This extraordinary object is based on the original usable form of moon flask, something that must have been in use for hundreds, if not thousands of years. It has loops to hold a strap and a slot in the middle of the side of the base, as if it were to have a leather strap running around the side of the vessel, I am sure it would not have done, it was there to allude to the original use of such a vessel. The cover is a disk with a straw that runs from a little above the top to about two thirds the depth of the vessel. Its use is perhaps as a water dropper, many be a curiosity for the scholars table. Horses were extremely important to the Manchus who ran China at the time, Kangxi and spent much of his life on a horse surveying and learning about his seemingly endless empire.

The origins of the moon flask, Bian Hu or Baoyue Ping as it is called in China are connected with horsemen. Leather flasks with a strap running around the side and under the flask helped secure it to the side of the horse. It is thought that a straw was used to enable the horseman to drink without stopping. Porcelain Moon flasks from the early 15th century are one of the most prized forms of the Ming dynasty porcelain. They were much copied during the Qianlong period.