Pair of Cups

Object nr. 589 China, Kangxi Period (1662-1722) Height: 6 cm | Diameter: 8.6 cm

- Mr. V. van Dijk, 2023

Condition Report Available

€ 2,950

This object can be viewed in our gallery.

'Trick Cups'

These lobed cups are also called 'trick' cups, or 'gong dao bei' (don't be greedy) cups. When the consumer would put too much wine inside the cup or drink too greedy, the wine was apt to drain onto the lap of the heavy drinker. This was confirmed in an experiment, where the cups immediately drained their contents when three-quarters full. An x-ray of the cup shows that the mechanism for this dramatic effect was a tubular spout inside the figure. As seen on the scan on the right.

Source- Rose Kerr & John Ayers, Blanc de Chine; Porcelain from Dehua, Chicago 2002, no. 116-117.

Floris van der Ven