A jade two-handled cup

A jade two-handled cup


Ming dynasty
Width: 4 in, 10.2 cm

The irregularly shaped vessel is created from a lotus leaf, the stem of which is tied together with those of a flower and a leaf, worked on the sides of the cup in high relief, to form a stable base. A total of three dragons are worked on the sides of the vessel, the larger two form handles, and the smallest runs just below the rim. The semi-translucent stone is a pale celadon-green tone with some russet inclusions.

Formerly in an English private collection.

For related examples, see Homage to Heaven, Homage to Earth: Chinese Treasures of the Royal Ontario Museum, pl. 15, p. 38; Li, Ancient Jade of Hangzhou, no. 175, p. 160; Palace Museum, Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum: Jade, Vol. 7, no. 192, p. 201; and Rawson, Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, fig. 7, p. 389, in the collection of the British Museum.