The effectiveness of the convolutional neural network (CNN) has already been demonstrated in many challenging tasks of computer vision, such as image retrieval, action recognition, and object classification. This paper specifically exploits CNN to design local descriptors for content-based retrieval of complete or nearly complete three-dimensional (3-D) vessel replicas. Based on vector quantization, the designed descriptors are clustered to form a shape vocabulary. Then, each 3-D object is associated to a set of clusters (words) in that vocabulary. Finally, a weighted vector counting the occurrences of every word is computed. The reported experimental results on the 3-D pottery benchmark show the superior performance of the proposed method.