Period: Guangxu period, Qing dynasty (1875-1908)
Measurements: 19 cm in length, 13 cm in width, 5 cm in height
Provenience: Allocation by government document
With soft color, clear luster, and vibrant shapes, the famille rose ceramics of the Guangxu period in the Qing dynasty are truly impressive. Also known as “soft colored ceramics”, the famille rose ceramics were produced by adding the pigments such as “glass white” powders and lead frit (into the raw materials), followed by colored painting on the white glazed surface after they have been fired at high temperatures. Later, they are completed by the second firing, which is done at a lower temperature.
The present vessel, which has a mild and glassy glaze, possesses an appealing form, just like a tender pink full-blown lotus. All of the petals have been molded to be three-dimensional, with those on the body appearing large and stretched, while those on the bottom seem small and overlapped. The bottom of the cup has been embellished with yellow calyxes, which are marked with black lines from the petals. A stem-form pipette rising slantingly upwards serves as the handle of the cup, and as the pipette when the cup is filled with wine.
The inked inscription on the reverse of the handle shows that this cup is also known as “Autumn Military Drill Cup”, which was made for commemorating the autumn military drill of Qing dynasty in Taihu, Anhui, whereby it proved to be an extremely rare masterpiece from the Guan Kiln, the official kiln. Now, it is an artifact of commemorative significance in Chinese history.