Stemcup thumbnail 1
Stemcup thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Ceramics, Room 145

Stemcup

618-700 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The ceramic industry rapidly developed in China during the Tang dynasty (AD 618-960). By the 9th century Chinese kilns were producing a dense, white, glazed stoneware which we know as porcelain. However, even prior to this, wares were produced that may have been less homogenous in body and glaze, but which can be considered antecedents to porcelain. This white stemcup, characterised by a thin body and bluish glaze, is a remarkable example. The slightly flared sides and knopped stem are derived from similarly shaped vessels in silver.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Porcelain with clear glaze
Brief Description
Stemcup, stoneware with white glaze, China, Tang dynasty, ca. 618-700
Physical Description
Stemcup, stoneware with white glaze, of inverted bell shape and short stem.
Dimensions
  • Height: 7.6cm
  • Diameter: 7.5cm
Style
Gallery Label
White stem cup Northern China Tang dynasty, 600–700 The whiteness of fired kaolin was used to full effect in ceramics of this type, which are the first high-fired whitewares ever made. The cup has the brightness, thin walls and overall shape of a silver vessel. It may have been made for drinking red wine. Wine made from grapes was brought to China from western Asia, and its introduction reflects the open, cosmopolitan nature of Tang culture. Glazed stoneware Museum no. C.138-1965 Mrs B.Z. Seligman Bequest(September 2009)
Credit line
Mrs B. Z. Seligman Bequest
Summary
The ceramic industry rapidly developed in China during the Tang dynasty (AD 618-960). By the 9th century Chinese kilns were producing a dense, white, glazed stoneware which we know as porcelain. However, even prior to this, wares were produced that may have been less homogenous in body and glaze, but which can be considered antecedents to porcelain. This white stemcup, characterised by a thin body and bluish glaze, is a remarkable example. The slightly flared sides and knopped stem are derived from similarly shaped vessels in silver.
Bibliographic References
  • Rose Kerr (ed.), Chinese Art and Design. The T.T.Tsui Gallery of Chinese Art. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1991, p. 58, fig. 19
  • John Ayers, Far Eastern Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1980, p. 165, cat. 17
  • Liefkes, Reino and Hilary Young (eds.) Masterpieces of World Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V&A Publishing, 2008, pp. 30-31.
  • Catalogue of an exhibition of the arts of the Tang Dynasty, London : Oriental Ceramic Society, 1955no.190
  • Wares of the Tang dynasty, London : Oriental Ceramic Society, 1949no.65
Collection
Accession Number
C.138-1965

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record createdFebruary 24, 2004
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