Antique Shiwan Lotus and Frog Wall Pocket, China (19302JAL)


H: 8.25”  W: 6.75”  D: 3.5” | FREE SHIPPING

Wall pockets remain a very common decorative element in Asian homes. In China, they are used to hold chopsticks and flowers to bring good fortune to a space where the family gathers. This charming, finely made and unique vintage Shiwan pocket is a frog seated on a lotus. The lotus and frog share similar and symbiotic traits. Both are aquatic organisms, as frogs find shelter under the lotus leaves while the frog helps nourish the plant’s root and both symbolize transformation. In Buddhist beliefs, both move between watery environments representing the subconscious and land which symbolizes the conscious or material world. With a hole in the back for hanging on a wall, this wall pocket is great addition to enhance a kitchen’s  coziness and feng shui and is a wonderful wedding gift.


Shiwan stoneware wall-pockets “vases” were used to hold functional-and-utilitarian items like flowers and chopsticks and were in most Chinese homes by the late Qing Dynasty. In addition to their usefulness, they  reflecting the Chinese belief that having objects with auspicious images fills your home with favorable and optimistic energy (chi). The words for lotus in Chinese have the same meanings as to bind or connect (in marriage), one after the other, uninterrupted, and to love. It is also a wish for a woman to bear many sons. The frog (wa 蛙) is a symbol of fertility and a homophone for the word for baby (wa 娃). Shiwan stoneware pieces are recognized  for their fine modeling, vivid expression and colorful glaze. The kiln area where they continue to be produced is four millennia old and reached its height during the late Ming and Qing dynasties when they were known as the “Pottery Capital.” These potters mixed waste materials with local sand and inexpensive clay as perhaps one of the earliest and artistic forms of recycling to produce objects for every day needs with coveted apple-green and stunning drip glazes. Historically overshadowed by porcelains from imperial kilns, appreciation for these wares and their unique glaze has grown in the past several decades and are now prized as respected, distinctive, and collected ceramic art. Shiwan chopsticks holders are transforming kitchen-accessories and unique wedding gifts not likely to be found in most U.S. bridal registries and a source of positive feng shui. This piece is part of the VA Antique-Chinese-Ceramics-and-Pottery Collection.

Click here for the Blog The Allure of Shiwan Pottery


Fredrikke S. Scollard and Terese Tse Bartholomew, Shiwan Ceramics: Beauty, Color, and Passion, San Francisco, Chinese Cultural Center, 1994.

Additional information

Weight 8 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 12 × 7 in
Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 8. 25” W: 6.75” D: 3.5”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 20.95cm W: 17.145cm D: 8.89cm


Excellent, fine patina demonstrating age and use, no restorations/repairs

Reference Number