Cup with double walls with four foliate panels where holy personages from the Taoist religion stand out in relief under bamboo leaves, framed by a fine rope of pearls that accentuates the lobed edge and is repeated in the interior. Partially translucid, it is covered with bluish glaze, described by the term qingbai (literally ‘blue-white’) and more recently, yingqing (‘shadow-blue’).
The piece comes from the kilns at Jingdezhen, that with the introduction of underglaze cobalt blue painting became the most outstanding centre for the manufacture of Chinese porcelain, a distinction that it has maintained to the present day.
Henry Brown Esq. collection. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian, through M. Knoedler & Co., Ltd, at the sale of the Henry Brown Collection, Sotheby's, London, 25 March 1947 (no. 21).
H. 10; Diam. rim 9.5 cm
Soame Jenyns, Ming Pottery and Porcelain. London: Faber and Faber, Lda., 1953, p. 23, pl. 3A.
Katharine Baetjer and James David Draper (eds.), 'Only the Best'. Masterpieces of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, exhibition catalogue. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999, p. 28, cat. 10.
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 2001, p. 74, cat. 52.
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