Height: 2 inches, 5 cm
Width: 2 3/8 inches, 6 cm


Bamboo wine cup

China, Qing dynasty, 18th century

A small bamboo wine cup carved in the form of a flower, the steep sides rising from a flower-shaped foot, spreading to the barbed mouth rim. The cup is carved with a small handle suspending a loose ring with a coin-shaped finial. The surface has acquired a smooth patina and a warm tone.

Since the Ming dynasty, carved bamboo objects were particularly appreciated by the literati scholar. During the Qing dynasty, the art of bamboo carving was further perfected and enriched with new styles. Literati scholars themselves practiced this art, finding in the bamboo a symbol of humbleness and integrity.[1] Cups of the present type are relatively rare. Compare a cup of similar shape illustrated in Bamboo & Wood Carvings of China and the East.[2]

Spink, Form & Function: Furniture & Accessories from China, Korea, and Japan, London 5th – 24th December 1997, nr.39, p. 37

  1. Yee, I. and L. C. S. Tam, Chinese Bamboo Carving, Part I, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong 1978, pp 17-18, 20
  2. Spink & Son, Bamboo & Wood Carvings of China and the East, London 14-29 November 1979, no. 214, p. 57