Pale greenish-white jade
Diameter of mouth: 10.3 cm (4 1/16 in.); Overall: 6.5 cm (2 9/16 in.); width with handles: 16 cm (6 5/16 in.)
Anonymous Gift 1952.510
Two female immortals serve as handles, while a Daoist procession with immortals, musicians, and attendants winds around the body of the cup.
The Cleveland cup and its counterpart from the imperial collection in the Beijing Palace Museum epitomize products of Suzhou jade masters in material, refinement, and polish. During the Qing dynasty, Suzhou’s best products were sent north to the capital. Those that met imperial approval were sometimes graced with Qianlong’s mark, added by calligraphers and jade workers at court. The lack of a Qianlong mark on the Cleveland cup suggests that it might not have reached the court, perhaps having found a collector among the merchant circles of the Suzhou-Jiangnan region, where its possession would have signaled its owners’ affluence, good taste, and knowledge of antique objects. Previously dated to the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368), new scholarship dates this cup to the Qing period.
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