Height: 2 inches, 5.1 cm
Diameter: 3 1/2 inches, 9.1 cm


Pair of Dehua porcelain ‘Dragon’ cups

China, Ming or Qing dynasty, 17th century

A pair of Dehua porcelain cups, each standing on a slightly tapering foot, rising to gently rounded sides and a flaring mouth rim.The exteriors are finely moulded with two mirroring four-claw dragons, divided by a flaming pearl, all amidst ruyi-shaped clouds. Each cup is covered with a very delicate, warm ivory-white glaze. The cups come with finely carved hardwood stands.

Dehua, in Fujian province, was a major centre of porcelain production in southern China. Dehua wares, known as blanc de chine in the West, were identifiable for their translucent, delicate body, which was often left undecorated.[1] Although Dehua wares were sometimes applied with mythical creatures such as chilong, moulded dragons as seen on the present pair of cups are extremely rare and no comparable example seems to be published.

Formerly in the collection of Edward.T. Chow
Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 19 May 1981, lot 476

  1. Krahl, R., Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994, vol. 2, p. 290