Pale gray-green white jade
Diameter: 14.6 cm (5 3/4 in.); Overall: 4.6 cm (1 13/16 in.)
Gift of J. H. Wade 1920.424
Auspicious inscriptions on the base and front of the jade cup convey wishes for longevity.
Three dragons, auspicious symbols for good fortune, grasp the rim of this bowl. A large shou (longevity) character is visible on the outside wall. Drinking cups with dragon handles were elite luxuries. The yellowish-white color and refined techniques are characteristic of Suzhou workshops that served the court, scholar-officials, and the merchant class. The optimistic attribution to Lu Zigang (late 1500s), a jade master recorded to have been active in Suzhou, suggests that its maker used the master’s name to attract wealthy clients eager to demonstrate their refined taste and connoisseurship.
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