A rare and unusual turquoise glazed, pottery gu form altar vase. Its moulded decoration depicts two dragons amongst clouds on the upper section ; on the waist are two ruyi bands and on the unglazed lower section are two cash symbols and what appears to be a double gourd. The base carries an inscription which we have been unable to read. This item was made for the domestic market. In China turquoise objects (which were fired at low temperature with a glaze that was notoriously difficult to control) appear to have been used traditionally within a religious context as temple dedications and altar pieces. This vase was made in China (possibly in Shaanxi province) during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Condition - the body is completely intact with no chips, cracks or restoration but there is extensive old and recent glaze loss. Size: 20.8cm (8.2 inches) high.