The elephant has a Buddhistic caparisoned dress with pearl harness, tassels, and scrolling patterned blanket. On its back is a removable bulbous vase form with flared neck (tianquiping) Incised with arctic motif. The elephants almond shaped eyes, diminutive tusk, pinched ears, with trunk swayed inward. The bronze is lost wax cast method. It has verdigris patina with a dry russet color.
The Ming dynasty was the ruling dynasty of China—then known as the Empire of the Great Ming—for 276 years (1368–1644) following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming, described by some as "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history," was the last imperial dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese.