Chinese hardstone hand-carved cup with a handle shaped like a chimera peeking inside. Below the rim of the container is a band carved with geometric pattern. The stone is pale white with areas of darker beige and brown.
The Ming dynasty was the ruling dynasty of China – then known as the Great Ming Empire – for 276 years (1368–1644) following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty.
The Ming, described by Edwin O. Reischauer, John K. Fairbank and Albert M. Craig as “one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history”, was the last imperial dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese. Although the primary capital of Beijing fell in 1644 to a rebellion led by Li Zicheng (who established the Shun dynasty, soon replaced by the Manchu-led Qing dynasty), regimes loyal to the Ming throne – collectively called the Southern Ming – survived until 1683.
Dimensions: 2 1/4″ x 1 3/4″ 2 1/4″ H