IMPERIAL JIAQING M/P BLUE AND WHITE BAXIAN WINE CUP
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This is a rare and fine imperial Jiaqing mark and period (AD 1796 - 1820) blue and white wine cup. It was finely decorated with a scene from the myth, 'Baxian guohai,' the eight Daoist immortals crossing the sea in underglaze blue. The myth is about 'Baxian', the eight Daoist immortals, Zhong Liquan, Zhang Guolao, Lu Dongbin, Li Tieguai, He Xiangu, Lan Caihe, Han Shangzi and Cao Guojiu, crossing the ocean together without a boat but by the power of their magical instruments after getting drunk during a gathering. Auspicious signs then appeared in the ocean, causing turbulences in the Ocean Palace. The East Ruler of the Ocean, Donghai Longwang was angry at this and quarelled with the Eight Immortals. Lan Caihe was then captured. The seven immortals then fought with the east, south, west and north rulers of the ocean. Guanyin arrived in time and resolved their conflicts. Lan Caihe was subsequently released and peace was restored. This decoration has profound auspicious implications and has been a popular decorative motif in China since the Ming dynasty. Another related decorative motif, the Bajixiang, which are the eight magical instruments of the Eight Immortals have similar auspicious meanings and is also a common decorative motif on Chinese art. This cup has a nice tub shape after the Imperial Ming Cheughua period 'chicken' cups. Its painting, glaze and body textures are superb. It is in very good conditions. Date: Jiaqing mark and period (AD 1796 - 1820); Diameter: 2.75 inches, Height: 1.38 inches; Condition: very good. Provenance: Sotheby's, London.