Description: A wide shallow Chinese bowl or cup, the interior glaze has the appearance of a creamy stoneware, the exterior has been covered with a cinnabar red lacquer that has a pressed pattern of repeating swastikas, punctuated by roundels containing the good luck symbol 'shou', which appear to have once been gilded. The base and lip both have borders of key motifs.
Place collected: Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang: Gyantse: Drongtse
Date collected: 1917-06
Measurements: Overall: 35 mm x 112 mm; 1 3/8 in x 4 7/16 in
Note: List of Curios No A42:
Known to the Tibetans as Wang-kar (i.e 'cup of the time of King Wang) Believed to have been made in Tibet by Tibetans, so Palha Kusho says, as the design is Tibetan, being swastikas round the rim and another Tibetan design below. But query did Tibetans ever do this lacquer work? King Wang is said to have lived somewhat after Ralpa-chan but before Tsongkhapa. He was assassinated by Chinese, who ascertained by divination that unless this was done China would become the vassal of Tibet. This cup K. Palha obtained from the chest (Yang-ku) of valuables which used to be in the Palha house near Gyantse and was removed from it during the Tibet Expedition of 1904. This cup has been at least 300 years in the possession of the Palha family in the Yang-ku. The most valuable things are kept in the yang-ku and are not taken out. June 1917.
Curator's note: Given to Bell during 1917 annual inspection tour of Gyantse and surrounding areas. Described on the museum's inventory card as imitating 'Peking lacquer'.
Written by Emma Martin
CB65 [Collector Number];
N1958.2036 [Photography Number]