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Stem Cup for an Altar
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Stem Cup for an Altar

Description Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description Starting in the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368), stem cups were made for Buddhist altars. This example, dating to the reign of Qianlong (1735-1795), is richly decorated with Buddhist motifs painted in underglaze cobalt blue. Along the sides of the cup, Tibetan letters float above opening lotus blossoms while foliated patterns fill the surrounding space. Fans, beads, and Ruyi heads (heart shaped motifs symbolic of Buddhist deities and monastic authority) decorate the trumpet shaped foot on which the cup sits. Similar sets of stem cups can be found in the Walters collection [WALTERS 49.2514, 49.2515. 49.2516].
  • Masterpieces of Chinese Porcelain. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1980-1981.
Provenance William T. or Henry Walters Collection, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Inscriptions [Reign Mark] In blue underglaze: Qianlong; Tibetan letters
Credit Acquired by William T. or Henry Walters

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porcelain with underglaze blue
Accession Number
H: 4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm)
  • China (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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