VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Libation cup
18637
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The refined carving and material used for this f rhino horn cup, a protected species, make it a piece of special interest in the museum’s collections.

History of the Object
Libation cups of this type, carved on a rhino horn, which is very rare and exotic, were used by powerful traders and high officials of the Chinese empire because of the belief that it would protect them against poison.

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Type
Other 
Materials
Rhino horn 
Measurements
Width 10 cm. Height 6,5 cm. Length 15,5 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 18th century 
Creation date
18th Century 
Function
This cup was used for libations. The tip cut off the horn serves as the base of the object. Its shape reminds us of a carved pine with knots and bulges that are natural to the tree. There is also a double belly bottle and a ruyi suspended from a branch. 
Acquisition
It was acquired by the museum in 2004 through an auction at Sotheby’s of New York. The museum proposed the acquisition of this object because there was nothing similar in the museum’s collections and because it represents an important aspect of the rituals and beliefs of ancient Chinese culture. 
Copyright
Museo Nacional de Antropología. Ministerio de Cultura. 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Museo Nacional de Antropología. Ministerio de Cultura. 
Museum
Virtual Museum of the Chinese masterpieces 
Credit line
 

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