White stem cup, Northern China

White stem cup, Northern China

White stem cup
Northern China
Tang dynasty, 600-700
Glazed stoneware
Museum no. C.138-1965
Mrs B.Z. Seligman Bequest

The whiteness of fired kaolin was used to full effect in ceramics of this type, which are the first high-fired whitewares ever made.
 
The cup has the brightness, thin walls and overall shape of a silver vessel. It may have been made for drinking red wine. Wine made from grapes was brought to China from western Asia, and its introduction reflects the open, cosmopolitan nature of Tang culture.