A VERY FINE PETAL-LOBED SILVER STEM CUP
A VERY FINE PETAL-LOBED SILVER STEM CUP
A VERY FINE PETAL-LOBED SILVER STEM CUP
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A VERY FINE PETAL-LOBED SILVER STEM CUP

TANG DYNASTY (AD 618-907)

Details
A VERY FINE PETAL-LOBED SILVER STEM CUP
TANG DYNASTY (AD 618-907)
The small bowl is divided into eight petal-shaped lobes, each delicately engraved with birds including ducks, geese and a parrot amidst rocks and trees in a landscape, the birds shown either in flight, or alternately looking towards or away from each other, all against a very fine ring-punched ground above engraved lotus petals rising from the stem foot with spreading, petal-lobed base similarly decorated with bands of foliate scrolls.
2 ¾ in. (6.9 cm.) diam.; weight 85 g
Provenance
Dr. Johan Carl Kempe (1884-1967) Collection, Sweden, before 1953, no. CK110.
Sotheby's London, Masterpieces of Chinese Precious Metalwork. Early Gold and Silver, 14 May 2008, lot 40.
Literature
Bo Gyllensvärd, Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, Stockholm, 1953, cat. no. 110a.
Bo Gyllensvärd, 'T'ang Gold and Silver', Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, No. 29, Stockholm, 1957, pl. 8b, fig. 62m.
Han Wei, Hai nei wai Tangdai jin yin qi cuibian [Tang gold and silver in Chinese and overseas collections], Xi'an, 1989, pl. 59.
Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, The Museum of Art and Far Eastern Antiquities in Ulricehamn, Ulricehamn, 1999, pl. 113.
Qi Dongfang, Tangdai jin yin qi yan jiu [Research on Tang gold and silver], Beijing, 1999, pl. 8.
Exhibited
Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution, Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, 1954-55, cat. no. 110.
New York, Asia House Gallery, Chinese Gold, Silver and Porcelain. The Kempe Collection, 1971, cat. no. 54, an exhibition touring the United States and shown also at nine other museums.

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Lot Essay

Silver stem cups of this elegant, lobed shape, where the lobes continue up to a slightly everted edge, are very rare. A very similar stem cup from the collection of Martin Mansson was sold at Christie's London, 10 May 2011, lot 178. The Mansson cup was referenced by Gyllensvärd in his various catalogues of the Kempe Collection as a comparable of the present cup. Another cup of this shape, decorated with hunting motifs, dated to the 8th century, is in the Hakutsuru Art Museum and illustrated by Ryoichi Hayashi, The Silk Road and the Shoso-in, New York/Tokyo, 1975, p. 86, pl. 88.

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