Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, 17th century
Medium
Jade
Dimensions
H x W x D: 7.1 x 10.7 x 4.3 cm (2 13/16 x 4 3/16 x 1 11/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1987.771
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Jade, Vessel
Type

Cup

Keywords
China, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

Cups with handles in the form of figures or animals were popular in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Two-handled cups possessed ceremonial authority and were used for special occasions. The decoration on this cup appears to celebrate a student's success in passing the national examinations to become a scholar, an event captured on the back of the cup in a metaphoric image of a carp transforming into a dragon. The  youths dressed in flowing scarves and leopard skins who serve as the cup's handles represent immortals; sometimes the difficult feat of succeeding at the examinations was compared to obtaining immortality.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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