MING DYNASTY, 17TH CENTURY
The cup is carved from a single section of bamboo in the form a tree trunk, after a rhinoceros horn prototype. The exceptionally large cup is deeply undercut with prunus blossoms and leafy branches spreading on either side of a gnarled trunk. The interior of the cup is tightly fitted with a silver lining. The bamboo surface is patinated to a rich golden-brown colour.
Bamboo libation cups usually depict pine trees rather than prunus. Bamboo cups of this large size are rare. A smaller example with prunus blossom sprays is published in Hong Kong Museum of Art Chinese Bamboo Carving Part II, Hong Kong, 1982, pp. 256-257, Catalogue No. 70.