This lidded bowl (gaiwan) is inspired by a quite famous vessel in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), that incorporated the doucai technique. The original vessels were fired in an imperial kiln in Jingdezhen and functioned as a wine cups during the Chenghua Emperor's reign (1368-1644). It is said that the Empress mother had a keen appreciation for small and simplistic items, there for Emporer Chenghua, in the 15th Century, created the cup in an act of devotion for her.
The cups are decorated with chickens, hens and cocks and represent core dynastic values: family lineage and nurturing the young.
On record, of the original Chenghua cups, there are only 16 in existence and 13 of those are in museums.
See matching teacups