A large porcelain bowl decorated with stylized panoramas of Hanoi's past and present has been presented to the Vietnam Fatherland Front for the thousandth anniversary of the nation's capital.
Weighing in at 20 kilograms and measuring 80 centimeters from top to bottom, the "Thang Long pearl bowl" with gold inlay is a gift from the renowned fine pottery manufacturer Minh Long I Ltd.
Ly Ngoc Minh, general director of the company, said Vietnamese people have been using bowls for thousands of years, so nothing could be more meaningful than presenting a special bowl to the capital for its millennial birthday.
On opposing sides of the pearl bowl are stylized representations of Thang Long Royal Capital one thousand years ago and present-day Hanoi.
It took the artists four months to paint scenes such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, The Huc Bridge and the Temple of Literature, after which the bowl was baked at a temperature of 1,250 degrees Celsius.
The ornate tripod on which it rests is made of three outward-facing dragons that symbolize the country's northern, central and southern regions and the Vietnamese tenacity in defending the motherland.
Minh said he challenged himself to produce the bowl five years ago at a time when there was no established technique in the world to create what he had in mind.
"We don't know how many bowls were damaged in the first three years. There were times when we thought of declaring it impossible but we got through eventually," he said.
"Everyone is so excited that we've finally done it."
In addition to the Thang Long pearl bowl, Minh's workshop made five cups, named Lac Hong, again as a gift for Hanoi.