Libation Cup

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

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At A Glance

  • Period

    16th-17th century
  • Geography

    Jiangsu, Jiangxi or Zhejiang province?, China
  • Material

  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 4.7 x 10.5 x 5.6 cm (1 7/8 x 4 1/8 x 2 3/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    libation cup with grooved rim; a curved, single-horned dragon forms the handle of the cup--the animal grasps the rim of the vessel in its open mouth and the bifurcated tail joins the body of the piece.
  • Provenance

    From at least 1954 to 1968
    Desmond Gure (1905-1970), London, from at least August 1954 [1]
    From 1968 to 1987
    Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York, purchased from Desmond Gure on January 10, 1968 [2]
    From 1987
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, gift of Arthur M. Sackler on September 11, 1987 [3]
    [1] Gure lent the object to an exhibition organized by Jean-Pierre Dubosc in Venice in 1954, see Mostra d’arte Cinese: catalogo / Exhibition of Chinese Art: Catalogue (Venice: Alfieri Editore, 1954), cat. 225 (ill.), listed as “Coll. Mr. and Mrs. Desmond Gure, London.”
    See also an undated typed inventory of Desmond Gure’s collection, “List 1 – Objects Not Exhibited at Stockholm 1963,” no. 28: “A white jade Libation cup, of almost oval form with reeded lip, the handle terminating in a horned dragon’s mask on a rim foot – 4 ¼ in long – Sung Dynasty – Fitted Box,” copy in object file.
    [2] According to information provided by Arthur M. Sackler Foundation in October 2009, Arthur M. Sackler purchased the jade as part of Desmond Gure’s jade collection on January 10, 1968.
    See “Arthur M. Sackler Gift: Chinese Jades: Summary,” where the object is listed under Sackler Collection no. J-1312 and identified as S1987.726.
    [3] Pursuant to the agreement between Dr. Arthur M. Sackler and the Smithsonian Institution, dated July 28, 1982, legal title of the donated objects was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on September 11, 1987.
  • Collection

    Arthur M. Sackler Collection
  • Exhibition History

    The Arts of China (November 18, 1990 to September 7, 2014)
    Pavilions and Immortal Mountains: Chinese Decorative Art and Paintings (September 28, 1987 to February 28, 1988)
    Mostra d'arte Cinese (1954)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Desmond Gure (1905-1970)
    Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987)
  • Origin

    Jiangsu, Jiangxi or Zhejiang province?, China
  • Credit Line

    Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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