During the Sui and Tang Dynasties, the Imperial households began cultivating costly tree peony flowers. This set into motion a cultural love affair that continues to this day.
Due to the Imperial origins of this cultural love affair,the Peony became known as the "flower of wealth and rank." Peonies often appeared on wedding gifts to wish the newlyweds a life of prosperity and happiness.
This Stem Cup is undoubtedly no exception to that practice, and the fact that it is in the shape of a "Yak Butter Lamp" is probably an added wish that there would always be light in their household and illumination in their lives.
Ming Dynasty, Chenghua mark (1465-1487)
Yak Butter Lamp Shaped Stem Cup
Item # CIP-501
Height: 10.6 cm;
Width of rim: 13.6 cm;
Width of foot: 6.4 cm.
Provenance: Silverspring MD. Estate
Decoration: Band of pendant leaves encircling foot, surmounted by a band of simplified lotus leaves on the underside of the bowl. Double cobalt line at upturn of bowl. Four Lotus flower sprays framed by ruyi lappets surmounted by double cobalt line around the everted rim.
Technique: Motifs outlined with cobalt oxide pigment, partially filled with cobalt wash under transparent glaze, completed with red, yellow and green enamels and black wash, over transparent glaze. Doucai.
Mark: Six characters in single line around interior of paired foot written with cobalt oxide pigment under transparent glaze.
Finely trimmed foot rim sealed with brown pigment. This technique though more closely associated with potteries of the Song Dynasty was still found on porcelain well into the Ming Dynasty all be it sparingly.