This unusual and lively figure represents a foreign merchant of Western Asiatic type. A similar figure wearing a hat, with a jar balanced atop the sleeve of the raised arm, and dancing atop a base further cast with a buddhistic lion was sold by Sotheby's, Paris, 18 December 2009, lot 255. See, also, the related figure standing on a base, with one foot resting on the head of a recumbent lion, as he holds aloft two cylinders at different heights, with two others tied to his body and with the top of his head hollowed, illustrated in Oriental Works of Art, The Oriental Art Gallery, London, June 1995, no. 40, where it is dated 16th century and described as an arrow vase made for the game of touhu, a game of arrow tossing. For a full discussion of this game see C. Mackenzie and I. Finkel, eds., Asian Games: The Art of Contest, Asia Society, New York, 2004, pp. 274-81.