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Stem cup with circled butterflies decoration

Place made: 
Asia; China; Jiangxi Province; Jingdezhen
Stem cup with circled butterflies decoration, ca. 1723-1735 (Qing Dynasty, Yongzheng Period)
Hard-paste porcelain; underglaze blue and overglaze polychrome enamels with feldspathic glaze (doucai ware)
Overall: 3 3/16 in x 6 13/16 in; 8.1 cm x 17.3 cm; Base: 1 5/8 in x 2 5/16 in; 4.1 cm x 5.9 cm
Gift of Samuella Crosby (Class of 1880)
MH 1936.7.Q.A

The shape of Chinese stem cups may have come from 7th-century metalwork, when China had close contact with Central Asia. Ceramic vessels of this shape started to emerge in China in the 13th century. The elegant floral decorations exemplify the famous doucai (“contrasting colors”) technique, which combines underglaze cobalt blue with overglaze enamels to create this particular visual effect.