Lovely Ming dynasty (or earlier) bronze water-dropper, in shape of a mythical beast. These water droppers were used by scholars to drop water onto an ink stone. By grinding an inkstick into this water on the inkstone, particles come off and mix with the water, forming ink. This water-dropper has two small holes for water and air, and is designed so that only a few drops of water can fall at one time. The dropper has a nice, rich patina and is in good condition.