Gourd-shaped porcelain canteen and the Yue’s Troops
Arisans of Cizhouyao Kiln pressented porcelain canteen to Yue Fei_CraftChina

At the end of the Southern Song Dynasty, there was a kiln artisan named Hulu at the Cizhouyao Kiln. He was clever and skillful. Once he made a kind of porcelain canteen, thick at both ends but thin in the center, convenient to carry. As it looked exactly like the gourd used by immortals in the legend, people called it porcelain gourd, also known as the canteen of the Yue’s troops. The legend goes that for recovering the occupied territory in the north, Marshal Yue Fei fought with his army from the Yangtze River all the way to the Mt. Taihang. The kiln artisans of the Cizhouyao Kiln were very excited and tried to present the Yue’s troops with a kind of porcelain canteen in kidney shape for them to carry conveniently on the march. The kiln artisan Hulu thought he should send Marshal Yue and his troops a precious canteen just like that used by Taishang Laojun (the Very High Lord in the legend) to hold elixir vitae as Marshal Yuehad rendered outstanding service to the Song Dynasty. It was said that the water used to blend the clay for making the treasured canteen of he Very High Lord was taken from nine rivers and eighteen lakes. So he sent someone to take the spring water from nine springs, such as the Black Dragon Spring, the Yellow Dragon Spring, the Dark-green Dragon Spring, the Old Dragon Spring, the Jade Dragon Spring, etc. In the clay to make the canteen, he added costly medicines, such as musk, glossy ganoderma, bezoar, peppermint, etc. Finally, when the canteen was done to hold water or wine, not only could it quench thirst and relieve summer heat but also cure all diseases.


The officers and men of the Yue’s troops went on with the march with the porcelain canteen, sweeping northward from victory to victory. Afterwards due to the collusion between Qin Hui and the Jin troops, the Yue’s troops were besieged on the top of the Mt. Jiushi. Before long all the water bottled in the ordinary porcelain canteen was drunk up but the officers and men found to the surprise that the water and wine in Marshal Yuan’s porcelain canteen would never go empty. They found some big Chinese characters “Porcelain Canteen with Water from Nine Spring” and some small Chinese characters “Cizhouyao Kiln” inscribed at the bottom of the canteen. The officers and men drank freely with great joviality. After drinking the wine to their heart’s content, they rushed down the mountain. Afterwards, the Yue’s troops recovered a large stretch of territory.