Raft Cup

Raft Cup



attributed to Zhu Bishan 朱碧山

(Chinese, c. 1300-aft 1362)

Hammered silver soldered together, with chased decoration

Overall: 16 cm (6 5/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1977.7

Fun Fact

Those who drink from the cup see straight into the immortal’s eyes.


This rare silver cup is dated, inscribed, and impressed with a seal of the famous silversmith Zhu Bishan. Shaped like a hollow log, the cup can be filled through its upturned tip. The cup has an inscription on its back that alludes to a story of an immortal riding down a river. According to the story, the man lost his way and ended up in the Milky Way galaxy. He was temporarily transformed into a star, and met with the Weaving Maid, another star. The figure, in fact, holds a tablet labeled "loom-supporting stone ", a token of his encounter with the Weaving Maid.

The traditional understanding of the silver vessel 's function is that it was supposed to hold wine.

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