A jade cup

A jade cup


Ming dynasty
Width: 3 1/2 in, 8.9 cm

Supported on a small straight foot ring, the U-shaped cup has a slightly everted rim. A handle, in the form of two twisted stems of lingzhi fungus, issues from one side. The semi-translucent striated stone varies in tone from pale grey to charcoal.

For a late Tang white ceramic cup of similar form and with a similar handle, which may have been the inspiration for this vessel, see Zhejiang Kaogu Jinghua, p. 209.

A similar cup, dated Jin or Yuan, is illustrated in Forsyth and McElney, Jades from China, no. 262, p. 341.

For an ear cup, dated Ming, in the collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, fashioned from jade of very similar colour, see Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth: Gems of Antiquities Collections in Hong Kong, no. 134, p. 166.