Copper cup and saucer

China, Qing dynasty, 18th or 19th century

Length: 3 3/4 inches, 9.5 cm
Width: 3 inches, 7.5 cm
Height: 1 1/8 inches, 2.7 cm

A small copper cup with matching saucer. The saucer is of four-lobed form, supported on a short straight foot and with a flat base. The cup, also of four-lobed form, fits snugly into a raised central rim and has two attached handles of stylised chi dragon form. The rim of the saucer and the exterior of the foot are silver mounted; the material is blackened. The exterior of the cup and the interior of the saucer have a raised decoration of intricate leafy motifs with lotus blossoms. The copper is well polished.

This fine quality copper cup and saucer is unusual for its relatively heavy weight and solid craftsmanship. The form of this cup and saucer is of typical Chinese style and can be found in enamel or porcelain wares, such as the example found in the National Palace Museum, Taipei[1] and a small yellow-glazed porcelain cup dating from the Kangxi period (1661 – 1722) in the collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.[2]

  1. The National Palace Museum, Taipei online collection archive, no. 故琺550
  2. Li,- He, Chinese Ceramics, the New Standard Guide, Thames & Hudson, London, 1996, pl. 533, p. 277