Of unusual form, this finely modeled Chinese porcelain water dish/dropper is made in the form of a lotus pad and whimsically includes within its curled leaves a small duck and lotus blossom, the lotus pad itself brilliantly enameled and detailed – especially the modeling of the reverse side. Part of the writing accoutrements that made up part of a scholar’s studio, the water holder or dropper was essential to the making of ink and was sometimes made in whimsical or thought-provoking forms such as these. In this instance a duck combined with the lotus denotes a wish for happiness – perhaps the dish was a gift to a scholar upon his graduation from his exams? Measuring 2″ x 6 1/4″ and in good condition with the exception of a small retouch to the head and beak of the duck. Late Qianlong period, last quarter of the 18th century.