Small, finely made, blue and white stem cups with this design of the Eight Treasures resting on formalized clouds were manufactured in both the Yongzheng and Qianlong reigns, but those from the Qianlong reign appear to be even more rare than those of the preceding period. A Yongzheng example from the Tianminlou Collection is illustrated by Liu Liang-yu in A Survey of Chinese Ceramics - 5 - Ch'ing Official and Popular Wares, Taipei, 1991, p. 90, right-hand side. A similar Yongzheng stem cup was formerly in the Edward T. Chow collection. The eighteenth century cups from both reigns are characterized by very fine potting, and delicately precise painted decoration. In the case of the current stem cup, an attempt appears to have been made to soften the appearance of the underglaze blue decoration to make it resemble more closely the blue of the late Chenghua pieces on which these eighteenth century examples are based.
The Qing dynasty stem cups were made in careful imitation of the much admired Ming examples from the Chenghua reign (1465-87) such as the example in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 35 - Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (II), Hong Kong, 2000, p. 43, no. 40. A pair of these Chenghua stem cups from the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, was illustrated in the Catalogue of the Special Exhibition of Ch'eng-hua Porcelain Ware, Taipei, 2003, p. 98, nos. 78 and 79. Chenghua stem cups of this type have also been excavated from the late Chenghua stratum at the site of the imperial kiln at Jingdezhen. See A Legacy of Chenghua - Imperial Porcelain of the Chenghua Reign Excavated from Zhushan, Jingdezhen, Tsui Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1993, pp. 194-5, no. C53.