Height: 1 1/4 inches, 3.1 cm


Pair of lacquer and mother-of-pearl inlaid ‘peach’ cups

China, Qing dynasty, 18th century

A pair of lacquer and mother-of-pearl inlaid peach-shaped wine cups, the exteriors and bases covered with gilded lacquer and finely decorated with bats and clouds below a narrow geometric border at the rim. The side of each cup is applied with a brown-lacquered handle, naturalistically modelled as a branch with green leaves applied in relief curling around the side and the base. The cups are inset with a silvered metal liner.

Lacquer wine cups were often made in sets to be used for drinking games in social contexts. The combination of mother-of-pearl inlaid in a gold lacquer ground is unusual and creates a particularly luxurious effect. A very similar peach-shaped wine cup, dated to the Kangxi period, was exhibited by the Oriental Ceramic Society.[1] A further related gold lacquer cup of peach form, but without mother-of-pearl is in the collection of the Linden-Museum, Stuttgart.[2]

Formerly in the collection of Alfred E. Guntermann (1943-2013)

  1. Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, 1963-1964, vol. 35, London 1965, no. 381, pl. 121
  2. Brandt, K.J., Chinesische Lackarbeiten, Linden-Museum Stuttgart, 1988, pl. 102