Cups of this type, where the cup is supported by a figure, appear to be very rare. Jan Chapman in The Art of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, London, 1999, p. 73, refers to them as caryatid cups and notes that there are four known examples, of which she illustrates three - the present cup illustrated p. 74, no. 40, and two others with human supports, nos. 39 and 41.
The finely carved decoration of this cup is also highly symbolic. The monkey (hou) is a pun for a high-ranking noble (hou), and is also a symbol of longevity. Here it is combined with two other symbols of longevity - peaches and lingzhi.