This very well carved lapis lazuli water bowl is 2 ¾” high, 6” long and 3 ½” wide. It depicts a young boy and a small dragon tortoise riding on the back of a large dragon tortoise. A tiny tortoise sits inside the water bowl which is formed from the back of the large dragon tortoise. The piece is accompanied by a black silk brocade box. This is a 1950’s~1960’s product and is in excellent condition.
According to Chinese legend, this tortoise is the oldest of nine dragon children. Hence, it was named Dragon Tortoise. He has a head of dragon and body and shell of a tortoise. His formal name is Baxia. He is very strong and powerful and has the strength to carry the heaviest objects like a huge incense burner or heavy panels. Since it has the body of a tortoise (or turtle), it represents longevity as well.