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These beautiful, delicate wine cups were produced in China in the seventeenth century for export to Europe. They comprise a thin copper substrate that has been silvered, lacquered, and then covered in a woven casing made of the finest strips or slithers of bamboo. The flared feet and the interior bowls are of silvered copper, and the rest is of woven bamboo.
The weaving is remarkable and wire-like.
This type of cup is known only from old European collections, so it seems that such cups were made for the early export market from China to Europe.
A pair, for example, was in the collection of Carl Kempe (1884-1967) of Sweden and were illustrated in
The pair here are in fine condition. There is age-related wear to the silvering on the inside of the cups.
Chinese Gold & Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, 1954.
Seipal, W. (ed.), Exotica: Portugals Entdeckungen im Spiegel furstlicher Kusnt – und Wunderkammern der Renaissance, Skira, 2000.