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Silver Cup of Zhu Bishan in the Shape of a Tree-like Canoe
Silver Cup of Zhu Bishan in the Shape of a Tree-li
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This silver canoe is shaped like an old tree trunk with one end curling upward and covered with the rugged texture of a pine bark. A Taoist wearing a Taoist hat, thick-soled shoes and a long, ample robe sits on the canoe with his eyes riveted on a book in his hand. The two words for "Dragon canoe" are carved on the stern of the canoe. The 15 characters carved on the rim of the cup say, "Carrying jade-like wine for one's own enjoyment; floating along the Milky Way to Heaven -- by Du Ben." Carved on the bottom of the canoe in the regular script is a poem, which reads: Li Bai became crazy after a hundred cups;/ Old Liu Ling was always intoxicated./ Only those who knew the pleasure of drinking/ Left their memory behind in the world. Carved behind the stern in regular script are 21 more characters, which say, "In the year Yi You of the Zhizheng period, Zhu Bishan made this in the Hall of Eternal Spring in eastern Wu to be preserved by his sons and grandsons," together with the impression of a seal with the two characters for "Hua Yu" in the seal script.

History of the Object
The silver cup was cast and then carved into shape. The head, hands and shoes of the Taoist were welded on without leaving traces of the welding. The silver canoe combines the characteristics of traditional painting and sculpture and marks the technical and artistic level of silver casting of the Yuan period. It is a highly significant object for the study of the history of development of art in the Yuan Dynasty.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Silver 
Measurements
Height: 18 cm, length: 20 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 13th century ~ AD 14th century 
Creation date
13th Century - 14th Century; Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368) 
Function
wine vessel 
Acquisition
Collection of the Imperial Palace 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Palace Museum, Beijing 
Museum
The Palace Museum 
Credit line
Palace Museum, Beijing 

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