The biscuit exterior of the greyish brown stoneware vessel is scored and deeply carved taking the form of a halved peach pit. Its reverse reveals a cup with a wide, flat rim while the interior is covered with a thick crackled lavender blue Jun-type glaze.
Three inscriptions are engraved on the rim of the vessel. In archaic script, the left inscription can be translated as ‘Queen Mother of the West bestowed the peach upon the Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty’ 西王母賜漢武桃; ‘Xuanhe Hall’ 宣和殿. The right inscription reads, 庚子年甲申月丁酉日記 ‘Recorded on the cyclical day ding you in the cyclical month jia shen of the cyclical year geng zi [1120 CE]’.The bottom inscription reads, ‘愛閒老人手製 Made by the hand of the Old Man Who Loves Leisure.’
The cup is paired with an imperial ivory stand with leaves characteristically stained in green.
According to the Yixing Historical Accounts of Past Events 宜興文史資料, the ‘Old Man Who Loves Leisure’ 愛閒老人(real name unrecorded) was a potter active between the Jiajing and Wanli reigns who was known to produce zisha and grey-bodied Yixing washers decorated with lightly crackled glazes.
A similar Yixing cup of similar shape, glaze and inscription is in the collection of the Percival David Foundation (Catalogue Item PDC CLXXVI), published in the Royal Academy of Arts Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Chinese Art 1935-6, London, 1935, p. 107, Catalogue No. 1106