Pilgrim Flask

Location: China, probably Beijing

Materials: gilt-copper, cloisonné enamel

Dimensions: height 58.3 cm

Accession Number: CH 514

Other Notes:

The flattened round form of this pilgrim flask (baoyueping) resembles the full moon, inspiring the alternative appellation ‘moon flask’.  The handles are cast as coiled hornless dragons, called chilong. Blowsy peony blooms (mudan), set against a background of ornamental rocks and waterfalls, provide the decoration. The peony, a symbol of wealth, honour and nobility, is used to represent the third month and spring in the group of flowers of the Four Seasons.


Haydn Williams, Enamels of the World: 1700-2000 The Khalili Collections, London 2009, cat. 72, p. 129.