Arrow Vase with Design of Dragons amidst Clouds, Ming dynasty (1368-1644), Zhengde period (1506–1521) through Wanli period (1573–1620), 16th century. Bronze, 60.6 x 29.2 cm. Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of Robert E. Kresko, 15:2005.
The especially long neck of this unusual vase is decorated with two sinuous dragons chasing a flaming jewel above mountains and waves. The elongated neck and the triple openings identify this vessel as an arrow vase, a vessel that served as the target in an ancient Chinese drinking game. The goal was to get a short, feathered arrow into one of the three openings at the top of the vase. The loser was required to drink a cup of wine.