Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kyle's Birthday Sake Cup - 19c Ho-O Bird

We got Kyle another sake cup for his birthday.  He's up to three, so that's officially a collection.  For his records, in case he's ever looking them up.

I didn't know what a Ho-O bird was, so I looked it up.  "According to legend (mostly from China), the Hō-ō appears very rarely, and only to mark the beginning of a new era -- the birth of a virtuous ruler, for example. In other traditions, the Hō-ō appears only in peaceful and prosperous times (nesting, it is said, in paulownia trees), and hides itself when there is trouble. As the herald of a new age, the Hō-ō decends from heaven to earth to do good deeds, and then it returns to its celestial abode to await a new era. It is both a symbol of peace (when the bird appears) and a symbol of disharmony (when the bird disappears). In China, early artifacts show the Phoenix (female) as intimately associated with the Dragon (male) -- the two are portrayed either as mortal enemies or as blissful lovers. When shown together, the two symbolize both conflict and wedded bliss, and are a common design motif even today in many parts of Asia (see below).

 = Fèng, Male Phoenix     = Huáng, Female Phoenix"
The size of Cup: 3 7/16" Dia x 2 3/4" High. Nice Blue and White Japanese Imari Porcelain Soba Choko Cup. The cup is nicely shaped with good porcelain material and nice detail painting of two Ho-O Bird in front and back. There is also nice motif design of Yoraku design inside rim area. Inside bottom has Sho-Chiku-Bai design. Blue under glazing painting is well contrasted. The condition of Cup is excellent, no chip, no crack and no hairline. One Hittsuki (glaze stick) on the side of foot rim as last photo show, minor. Well balanced cup. Dating from early Meiji, late 19c.


1 comment:

Kyle said...

I got to thinking about our discussion of how the cup seemed very large for sake, and when I saw the term 'soba choko' it got me to wondering. When I searched the term, I found that it translates into something along the lines of 'noodle dipping cup' or 'small noodle cup'. Looks like I'll need to break out the soba noodles if I'm to make use of this one. Better yet, maybe I'll need to do some research into making my own...