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Chinese Glasses & Cups

Used for tea, religious ceremonies, and even for massage therapy, cups are a very important innovation in Chinese art history. Cups are traditionally made of glass, porcelain, silver, bronze, and bone. The earliest forms of cups were made out of bronze and were solely for ritual purposes.

Early bronze ritual cups were called "jue" or "gu." Both were used for drinking and pouring wine. Gu vessels are tall slender vessels, whereas jue are tripod vessels with a lip for pouring wine or spirits. Since the emergence of these bronze vessels, Chinese cups have been created for mass use due to the widespread consumption of tea.

Chinese teacups are usually very small and made out of porcelain. They are often painted with scenes of everyday life, or calming landscapes and flowering motifs. Because tea became such a staple, either for medicinal purposes or in reverence toward ancestors, the decorations on teacups were originally made to depict these experiences. Therefore, teacups were often decorated with poetry referencing family or nature.


Quick Facts

  • Chinese cups were not only used for the consumption of beverages. Cupping therapy is an ancient form of massage that dates from as early as 3000 B.C. This form of massage involves creating a vacuum within the cup and applying it to the skin. The practice is believed to relieve muscle pain and stress
  • Bronze ritual cups have been excavated from royal tombs dating back to as early as 1650 B.C.
  • Chinese teacups hold no more than 30 mL of liquid, unlike the average Western mug that holds between 200-250 mL of liquid

Recommended Items at Auction

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Chinese Carved Horn Like Cup
Apr 20, 11:00 AM PDT
Chinese Carved Horn Like Cup
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $100
$1258 Bids
A CHINESE CARVED BUFFALO HORN TYPE LIBATION CUP 20th Century. 11cm x 7 cm.
Apr 25, 10:00 AM BST
A CHINESE CARVED BUFFALO HORN TYPE LIBATION CUP 20th Century. 11cm x 7 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £50- £75
£303 Bids
CHINESE PORCELAIN LIBATION CUP - REPAIRED
Apr 27, 3:00 PM PDT
CHINESE PORCELAIN LIBATION CUP - REPAIRED
by Sunset Auction
Est: $0- $0
$263 Bids
Chinese bronze-mounted agate cup and bronze saucer
Apr 26, 4:00 PM PDT
Chinese bronze-mounted agate cup and bronze saucer
by U.S. Poly International Auction Gallery
Est: $4,000- $5,000
$6003 Bids
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Chinese Spinach Jade Lg Tea Cups
Apr 20, 11:00 AM PDT
Chinese Spinach Jade Lg Tea Cups
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$203 Bids
A CHINESE CARVED BUFFALO HORN TYPE LIBATION CUP 20th Century. 718 grams. 13 cm x 13 cm.
Apr 25, 10:00 AM BST
A CHINESE CARVED BUFFALO HORN TYPE LIBATION CUP 20th Century. 718 grams. 13 cm x 13 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £150- £200
£1202 Bids
A CHINESE CARVED BUFFALO HORN TYPE LIBATION CUP 20th Century. 669 grams. 13 cm x 13 cm.
Apr 25, 10:00 AM BST
A CHINESE CARVED BUFFALO HORN TYPE LIBATION CUP 20th Century. 669 grams. 13 cm x 13 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £150- £200
£1202 Bids
5x Mandarin cup + saucers
Apr 20, 9:00 AM CEST
5x Mandarin cup + saucers
by Twents Veilinghuis
Est: €200- €600
€2002 Bids
A simulated horn sculpture of libation cup
Apr 22, 12:00 PM PDT
A simulated horn sculpture of libation cup
by International Auction Gallery
Est: $30- $90
$101 Bid
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A FINELY CARVED SMALL CRYSTAL CUP
May 04, 10:00 AM EDT
A FINELY CARVED SMALL CRYSTAL CUP
by William's Auctions, LLC
Est: $120- $180
$601 Bid
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A FINELY CARVED CRYSTAL CUP
May 05, 10:00 AM EDT
A FINELY CARVED CRYSTAL CUP
by William's Auctions, LLC
Est: $120- $180
$601 Bid
A CHINESE CARVED BUFFALO HORN TYPE LIBATION CUP 20th Century. 613 grams. 13 cm x 13 cm.
Apr 25, 10:00 AM BST
A CHINESE CARVED BUFFALO HORN TYPE LIBATION CUP 20th Century. 613 grams. 13 cm x 13 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £150- £200
£1201 Bid
A CHINESE CARVED BUFFALO HORN TYPE LIBATION CUP 20th Century. 575 grams. 13 cm x 13 cm.
Apr 25, 10:00 AM BST
A CHINESE CARVED BUFFALO HORN TYPE LIBATION CUP 20th Century. 575 grams. 13 cm x 13 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £150- £200
£1201 Bid
A CHINESE CARVED BUFFALO HORN TYPE LIBATION CUP 20th Century. 626 grams. 13 cm x 13 cm.
Apr 25, 10:00 AM BST
A CHINESE CARVED BUFFALO HORN TYPE LIBATION CUP 20th Century. 626 grams. 13 cm x 13 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £150- £200
£1201 Bid
A SMALL CHINE DE BLANC CUP
Apr 21, 3:00 PM PDT
A SMALL CHINE DE BLANC CUP
by California Asian Art Auction Gallery USA
Est: $200- $400
$1501 Bid
A CHINESE LONGQUAN OCTAGONAL WINE CUP
Apr 21, 3:00 PM PDT
A CHINESE LONGQUAN OCTAGONAL WINE CUP
by California Asian Art Auction Gallery USA
Est: $300- $500
$2501 Bid
A SHOUSHAN TIANHUANG STONE CARVED CUP
Apr 27, 12:00 PM PDT
A SHOUSHAN TIANHUANG STONE CARVED CUP
by Jumbo Auction House
Est: $2,400- $3,800
$2001 Bid
Lot Family Rose cups/saucers (6x)
Apr 20, 9:00 AM CEST
Lot Family Rose cups/saucers (6x)
by Twents Veilinghuis
Est: €250- €750
€2501 Bid
3x Chinese cup + saucer
Apr 20, 9:00 AM CEST
3x Chinese cup + saucer
by Twents Veilinghuis
Est: €160- €480
€1601 Bid
A set of Chinese cups with saucer, 19TH/20TH Century Pr.
Apr 27, 2:00 PM EEST
A set of Chinese cups with saucer, 19TH/20TH Century Pr.
by Antonia Art Auction
Est: €4,500- €9,000
€4501 Bid
A Chinese Glazed Porcelain Cup with Wooden Box
Apr 27, 8:00 PM EDT
A Chinese Glazed Porcelain Cup with Wooden Box
by AZP Art Gallery Corp.
Est: $400- $500
$2001 Bid
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Chinese Jade Boat Cups
Apr 19, 11:00 AM PDT
Chinese Jade Boat Cups
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
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Chinese Bark of Agarwood Cup
Apr 19, 11:00 AM PDT
Chinese Bark of Agarwood Cup
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Glasses & Cups


Twents Veilinghuis

Twents Veilinghuis

Jade Auction House

Jade Auction House

Mega International Auction

Mega International Auction

Merces Gallery LLC

Merces Gallery LLC