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Chicken Cup

Prince and His Porcelain Cup
A Tale of the Famous Chicken Cup
Retold in English and Chinese

This beautifully illustrated, bilingual Chinese and English children’s book invites you to learn a store inspired by the rare Ming Dynasty cup that’s admired as the “holy grail” of China’s art world.

Known as the Chicken Cup, it’s vividly decorated with a rooster and a hen tending to her chicks. This story tells the tale of a grieving young prince who has recently lost his parents. His uncle who becomes the Emperor decides to send him to the frontier. Upset by the news, the price accidentally smashes his mother’s favorite cup…While the young prince is away he learns to appreciate the fine art of porcelain while recreating his mother’s favorite cup.

Porcelain evolved in China over 1200 years ago, and this book explains how it’s made and its importance in Chinese history. Written in English and Chinese, this beautiful story follows the young emperor’s journey from being ousted from the palace to his time in a ceramics workshop and to his victorious return to the palace as emperor.


Met Museum Chicken Cup

This type of small, bowl-shaped vessel from the imperial kiln of the mid-Ming dynasty has been cherished as the pinnacle of fine Chinese porcelain. The pictorial decoration was achieved through a complicated process. First, the designs were drawn in cobalt blue on the unfired vessel. After glazing and high-temperature firing, they were filled in with overglaze enamel pigments and then fired at a lower temperature to bring out the vibrant colors. Known as a “chicken cup” for its decoration, this object’s charming scene of small chickens feeding in a garden conveys a core Chinese value: nurturing the young is essential to the continuation of the family line.

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February 3, 2019 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment


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