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  • Description

    Set of twelve porcelain wine-cups with deep sides. The wine-cups have a fine white eggshell body. There is a different seasonal tree, shrub or flower, to represent one of the twelve months, in 'famille verte' palette enamel and underglaze blue on the exterior of each cup.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1662-1722
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 50 millimetres
    • Diameter: 65 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        reign mark
      • Inscription Position

        on base
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Da Qing Kangxi nian zhi
      • Inscription Translation

        Made in the Qing dynasty, Kangxi reign
      • Inscription Comment

        Six-character Kangxi mark in a double circle in underglaze blue on the base
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Qing Kangxi 1662-1722Room 95 label text:

    PDF 815a-l

    A set of twelve wucai month wine cups

    Each of these dozen porcelain wine cups is decorated in underglaze blue and in translucent overglaze colours, with a different flower motif pertaining to the twelve months of the lunar year, and each is accompanied by a couplet ending with the seal 賞 (shang ‘appreciation or reward’). The porcelain is so thin you can see the calligraphy through the walls of the cups without additional lighting. According to Yang Boda, the first month is represented by wintersweet, 2. apricot, 3. crab-apple or peach, 4. peony, 5. pomegranate, 6. lotus, 7. orchid, 8. cassia, 9. chrysanthemum, 10. rose, 11 white-flowering prunus, 12. narcissus. It is extremely rare to see a complete set of these cups.

    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue and overglaze enamels
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province江西省, 景德鎮
    Qing dynasty, Kangxi marks and period, about AD 1700Sets of 12 Kangxi month cups are in The Palace Museum, Beijing and Nanjing Museum. Regarding the ordering of the cups, there are different opinions from different researchers. For example there are different orders in the catalogue “Qing Imperial Porcelain of the Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong Regins” (清瓷萃珍-清代康雍乾官窯瓷器) published by Art Museum The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and also in April 2009 “Idemitsu Museum of Arts Journal of Art” (出光美術館研究紀要. .


  • Bibliography

    • Pierson 2001 p. 31, no. 26 bibliographic details
    • Scott 1989B p.100, no.104 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2002 p.84, no.86 bibliographic details
    • Lady David 1973 pp 11-12, no.815 bibliographic details
    • Scott 1991 pp 21-23, no.815 bibliographic details
  • Location


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Set of twelve deep porcelain wine-cups. Fine white eggshell porcelain, each cup decorated in 'famille verte' enamels and underglaze blue. A different seasonal tree, shrub or flower represents each of the twelve months.

Set of twelve deep porcelain wine-cups. Fine white eggshell porcelain, each cup decorated in 'famille verte' enamels and underglaze blue. A different seasonal tree, shrub or flower represents each of the twelve months.

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