Pair of cups and stands

DATE: 1821-1861 (made)
PLACE: China (made) Imperial factories at Jingdezhen
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain painted in overglaze enamels and gilt, pewter stands

These cups were created as part of a set for one of the granddaughters of Tao Kuang, the 6th emperor of the Qing dynasty of China (1820-1850), on the occasion of her marriage to a Mongolian prince. A two-character iron-red mark in Mongolian script on the base of each cup gives the name of the Prince who belonged to the Tumed Banner, an administrative division of both Inner and Outer Mongolia. Made at the Imperial factories at Jingdezhen, each cup is painted with bright overglaze enamels in the famille rose style, enamelled on the exterior with the Buddhist emblems of the ‘Seven Regal Treasures’, including the Wheel of the Law, the elephant, the horse, the jewel, a male deity, the Minister and the General. The interiors of the cups are decorated with a stylised lotus and double vajra design. Famille rose is a term used to describe Chinese wares decorated with rose-colored enamels usually in a light and free style of painting. The term was coined by French art historian Albert Jacquemart (1808-1875) to describe objects, in particular export wares, decorated in this way.