Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Period (1662-1722)
Height: 12.4 cm.
Private Collection, New York
Published and Exhibited
Dragons, Monsters, and Auspicious Beasts. June 1-17, 1988. New York.
The tall porcelain cup is molded in the form of an archaic bronze square zun vessel, with its characteristic splayed foot, central bulb and tall flaring neck. each a with a separate zone of decoration. Vaguely reminiscent of archaic motifs are the tall rising leaves molded on the neck and the dropping leaves on the foot. The angular spirals on the central bulb are arranged in the manner of a taotie mask.
Animated dragons are applied in high relief across the leaf design on the tall neck. A large cluster of dragons are applied marching up the side of the cup, with the largest dragon over the rim at the top. A pale celadon green glaze, which covers the inside, outside and the recessed base, thins to nearly white along the raised edges and pools to a bright green in the recesses.
Whereas the shape of the cup recalls the architectonic forms Of late Shang ritual vessels, the 'baroque' procession of dragons up the side are in the spirit of the interlacing dragons of the late Eastern Zhou period.