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Cup

  • Place of origin:

    Turkey (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    17th century-18th century (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Nephrite jade, fashioned, carved, chased and polished using abrasives and abrasive-charged tools.

  • Credit Line:

    W. H. Cope Bequest

  • Museum number:

    762-1903

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This cup has been fashioned from a single piece of pale greenish-grey nephrite jade and may have been made in Turkey. A has thin walls and elaborate, vertically aligned handles that have been extensively pierced. It is polished all over, the interior is smooth and unadorned and the exterior has been decorated with leaf fronds and flowers that have been carved and chased in low relief. Around the rim of the bowl, there is a narrow, slightly thicker border. There are several cracks around the body and one to the rim, most or all of which are almost certainly of natural origin.
It was owned by William Henry Cope Esq., a member of the British Archaeological Association who was also an important collector of jade and other hardstone objects and bequeathed to the museum in 1903.

Physical description

A thin-walled cup or bowl of boat-shaped form, wide at the rim and narrowing down to a small, short, boat-shaped, flared and recessed foot with a narrow, scalloped rim. At either end is an elaborate, vertically aligned handle that is fairly planar but which has been extensively pierced and modestly recessed in the form of a flower and buds. Fashioned in pale greenish grey nephrite jade and polished all over, the interior is smooth and unadorned and the exterior has been decorated with leaf fronds and flowers that have been carved and chased in low relief. Around the rim of the bowl, there is a narrow, slightly thicker border. There are several cracks around the body and one to the rim, most or all of which are almost certainly of natural origin.

Place of Origin

Turkey (possibly, made)

Date

17th century-18th century (made)

Materials and Techniques

Nephrite jade, fashioned, carved, chased and polished using abrasives and abrasive-charged tools.

Dimensions

Length: 182.5 mm 762-1903 +/- 1.0, Length: 138.5 mm 762-1903 +/- 0.5, Width: 109.5 mm 762-1903, Height: 52.65 to 56.2 mm 762-1903, Depth: 45.8 mm 762-1903, Thickness: 1.3 to 2.2 mm 762-1903, Length: 42.7 mm 762-1903, Width: 26.8 mm 762-1903, Depth: 5.1 mm 762-1903

Object history note

This cup was probably fashioned in Turkey in the 17th or 18th century and it was acquired by W. H. Cope Esq. who valued it at £5-0-0.

William Henry Cope Esq was considered an authority on ancient ecclesiastical stained glass and on old Plymouth china. He was also an important collector of china, jade and old Venetian and German glass, acquiring many of his pieces from sales of well-known collections such as the Beckford, the Bernal, the Guthrie, the Magniac and the Wells.
He became an Associate of the British Archaeological Association in 1863 and was elected to the BAA council in 1871 and regularly contributed to discussions on a broad range of subjects, often taking along objects from his own collections.
In 1880, Mr. Cope published the first of his articles, on the subject of jade, for the Journal of the BAA. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries on 1st July 1886 and was elected Vice-President of the BAA in June 1889, a post he continued to hold until his death in 1903.
He bequeathed his collections to The Victoria and Albert Museum.

Descriptive line

A boat-shaped cup with a pierced openwork handle at either end, fluted foot with scalloped rim, decoration carved in low relief, pale greyish green nephrite jade, Turkish, possibly 17th or 18th century

Materials

Nephrite

Categories

Drinking; Food vessels & Tableware; Gemstones; Hardstone

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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