'Temple on a Rock/ Dragon King' (Z4968) an exceptional large Fairyland lustre Vase and cover (shape 4046), circa 1925 48cm high (restored to inside rim of cover)
This vase shows the great (eastern) Sea Market, open to fisherman when the red birds fly backwards and forwards over the sea. Its iridescent buildings tower up to Heaven. On a rock sits the Dragon King, anxiously watching for the fisherman who bring him saki in exchange for gold, pearls and coral. He lives in a cave made of opal moonstones at the bottom of the sea. He guards the great night shimmering pearl which controls the tides and is sometimes called the Tide Jewel. Once it was lent to the Empress Jingo and with it she conquered Korea but she gave it back to the Dragon and he still guards it. No one has ever found the cave as the Dragon does not like visitors and causes earthquakes or storms if people come too close.
Please see U. des Fontaines Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre Sotheby Parke Bernet, 1975, pg. 128-129 for more information on this vase and pattern as well as an illustration of a near identical example.