What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by



  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Porcelain square waterpot with thickened rim. There is a roundel of a crane among clouds in red, green and black enamels on each side. There is a mark on the exterior.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1600-1644
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 64 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        reign mark
      • Inscription Position

        at mouth
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Chenghua nian zhi
      • Inscription Translation

        Made in the Chenghua reign
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming 17th centuryRoom 95 label text:

    PDF 709

    Square water pot with cranes among clouds

    This square water pot is decorated with roundels framing cranes, flying among clouds. At the rim is an apocryphal Chenghua reign mark in iron-red enamel. The shape was popular in the late Ming and copied in the nineteenth century.

    Porcelain with overglaze red, green and black enamels
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, about AD 1600–1644


  • Bibliography

    • Feng 2006 p.22, no.709 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1978 p.43, no.134 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2002 p.78, no.74 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Acquisition name

  • Department


  • Registration number


Square porcelain waterpot with thickened rim. Red, green and black enamels. Roundel on each side of a crane among clouds. Mark on exterior.

Square porcelain waterpot with thickened rim. Red, green and black enamels. Roundel on each side of a crane among clouds. Mark on exterior.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: RRC39042

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help