Peach-shaped Cup with Saucer

Period: Qing dynasty (1644–1911)

Date: 19th century

Culture: China

Medium: Jade (jadeite)

Dimensions: Overall (cup and saucer): H. 2 in. (5.1 cm); W. 5 7/8 in. (14.9 cm); Diam. (cup) 3 3/6 in. (9.8 cm)

Classification: Jade

Credit Line: Gift of Heber R. Bishop, 1902

Accession Number: 02.18.433a, b


According to myth, Xiwangmu, the queen mother of the west, had an orchard producing peaches that granted immortality, and the peach thus became a symbol of long life. The outer surface of this peach-shaped cup features a branch with leaves and blossoms, giving the impression that the fruit is still attached to an otherworldly tree. The cup's rim is enhanced with a tiny bat (fu), a pun with the word for blessings. (From Longevity in Chinese Art)