This cup may looks very simple and very ordinary, but there is a story behind it that made this cup so special. It is interesting to look back at the year 1481 when Emperor Chenghua issued a decree for these wine cups to be made in the imperial kilns of Jingdezhen.
|The Chenghua chicken cup|
|Emperor Chenghua of the Ming dynasty|
When Emperor Jingtai was very sick, Emperor Zhengtong sized this opportunity and recaptured the throne with the help of his royal supporters. Chu Jianshen was again made the crown prince. When his father died in 1464, Chu Jianshen succeeded the throne at the age of 16 and became Emperor Chenghua of the Ming dynasty. He then married Lady Wan who was twice his age (Lady Wan took care of him during his childhood years). Lady Wan was a motherly figure to the young emperor who would do anything and everything to please her.
|Emperor Chengua and Lady Wan drinking wine from the chicken cups|
This technique is known as Douchai,or competing colours/glazes. In this technique, the outline of the subjects was first drawn on the cup using the blue-n-white glaze. The cup was then fired to secure the glaze.
|Filling in the rest of the colour|
|The under-glaze of the outline of the subjects in blue-n-white|
|The over-glaze of the final subjects in colourful glaze|