In its decoration, this piece combines the Qianlong Emperor's taste for both archaistic designs and exotic western motifs. The craftsman has cleverly fused the two to result in a piece that is both familiar and innovative: the foliage encircling the cup, together with the chevron band, is reminiscent of archaic bronze taotie designs, while the traditional Chinese motif of the lotus scroll on the rim of the stand has been embellished with a European rococo flair.
The majority of cups extant today has been separated from their original cupstands and only a small number of original sets is known, including several in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Gugong bowuyuan wenwu cangpin daxi. Yuqi juan/Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum: Jade., op. cit., pls 137-142; a two-handled cup and stand, attributed to the late Ming dynasty, is included in the exhibition Chinese Jades from Han to Ch'ing, Asia House Gallery, New York, 1980, cat. no. 146; and two pairs of cups with stands, attributed to the Qianlong period, sold at Christie's New York, the first sold 24th/25th March 2011, lot 1506, from the collection of Sir Harry and Lady Judith Solomon, and the second, 15th September 2011, lot 1021.
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