Rare Chinese Neolithic Longshan Culture Black "Egg-shell" Pottery Stem Cup (Ex. Harvard Museums)
This very rare and desirable black pottery stem cup was made by potters of the Longshan Culture (c. 2400 - 2000 BC), Shandong province. Such wares are usually referred to as "egg-shell" pottery due to the extreme thinness of the pottery. Due to their elaborate style and fragility it is thought that such cups were used for ritual purposes rather than for everyday use. Note the raised bands of decoration around the cup section and the vertical apertures cut into the lower section. Cups such as these really are true masterpieces of the Chinese Neolithic potter.
Height 17 cm (6.5 inches). As with most, if not all, known similar cups, there are repairs and/or restoration in places.
For information: this cup was formally the property of the Harvard Art Museums and was sold at Bonhams, San Francisco in June 2011 in order to benefit the museums' Asian Acquisition Fund. The Bonhams sales invoice from that sale is included in this sale. Here is the link to the Bonhams description and their image of this cup: www.bonhams.com/auctions/ 18888/lot/8300/. At the time it was sold, as can clearly be seen in Bonhams image, there were two unrepaired open cracks to the mouth that have since been stabilised. We have also had a Perspex display stand made especially for this superb cup that includes a narrow pole that fits inside the cup's hollow stem to give it some security whilst on display. This display stand is, of course, also included in this sale.
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