Scholars' Pewter Lined Burl Libation Cup

c. 1600
$5,380 USD
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Dimensions
W: 9.25" D: 10.0" H: 5.75"
Materials
Root
Purchase Quantity
Collection #
PHA018
Estimated Shipping
$75

Like brush pots, libation cups are made in a variety of sizes and woods. Some maintain the natural contours of the wood, others enjoy skillful carvings. This grand 17th century natural burl wood example is unusually lined in pewter. The wood has incredible character from hundreds of years of use. An extraordinary object, situated as both a drinking vessel and a witness to the creative process, it would be considered more of an interesting companion for an artist/scholar than a cup for drinking. A vessel like this would have traveled with the artist to the many social "yaji" gatherings held by fellow scholars. Paintings and calligraphic works were frequently created at such social gatherings. Artists observed each other’s work, sometimes recording the night’s events on scrolls. Drinking from such a cup was an integral part of such parties. Even today it can be difficult for art historians to reconcile a subtle change of the hand in a painting or inscription, often pointing to an intoxicated artist as a possible alternative to forgery when faced with inconsistencies.

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