Chinese Blanc De Chine Octagonal Cup, Kangxi (1662-1722)
Chinese blanc de chine octagonal cup, Kangxi (1662-1722) with moulded design of eight figures within cartouches above a band of stiff leaves to the foot
Height: 7cm. (2 3/4in.) diameter: 6.5cm. (2 9/16in.)
Available on request
The eight figures adorning the sides of this cup probably represent the Eight Immortals, a group of semi-historical Daoist figures who have been popularized in Chinese material culture for centuries. They are referred to as the immortals as they are said to have discovered the elixir of life. Their appearance on this cup is perhaps a playful reference to the poem 'Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup' (Yinzhong baxian), written to celebrate the drinking habits of literary figures by the Tang poet and self-confessed lover of wine Du Fu. Expanding perception and loosening inhibition was traditionally key to literati artistic practice, and so their legendary gatherings were often said to be accompanied by the consumption of copious amounts of wine and hallucinogens.
John Sparkes Ltd label to the base