Water Dropper in the Shape of a Puffer Fish Maker: Unknown

late 15th–early 16th century

Asian Art

On view, 2nd floor, Asian Art

The late fifteenth through early sixteenth century was a golden age for Vietnamese ceramics. The Chinese government had put prohibitions on the export of Chinese ceramics, and the Vietnamese moved quickly to fill the void in the market. The extent of this trade has become more and more apparent with the accidental discovery of shipwrecks, such as the fully loaded ship discovered off Hoi An on Cu Lao Cham Island in 1993–94. The scientific excavation of the wreck took place in three campaigns between 1997 and 1999, and the Vietnamese government authorized the sale of a portion of the ceramics recovered from the site in 2000. This water dropper comes from the Hoi An shipwreck. It shows the approach of Vietnamese potters to decoration in underglaze blue.


Stoneware with cobalt blue under clear glaze


2 1/16 × 3 1/8 in. (5.2 × 7.9 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mary and Cheney Cowles, B.A. 1966

Accession Number



Le dynasty (1428–1788)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Hoi An shipwreck; Butterfields number 10918; Mr. and Mrs. Cheney Cowles, Seattle, WA; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
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