A pair of Dehua wine cups

17th century

Each shallow cup with rounded sides and flaring rim is supported on a short foot, set with a bamboo-shaped handle and covered with a rich creamy glaze, the base unglazed.

8.9 cm wide


Formerly in a French private collection 

Cups with bamboo-shaped handles are illustrated in Donnelly, and described as being of high quality and generally not found in Europe. However, Augustus the Strong had seven similar cups in his collection before 1721.

Cups like the present pair were used by the scholars of the 17th century, as is confirmed by a detail of a handscroll by Gu Zuntao, dated 1677, showing a gathering of scholars drinking wine from identical cups, which indicates that these cups were originally made for the internal market.


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