An image of Set of twelve wine cups

Unknown Artist

Set of twelve wine cups

Not on display
Further information

The depiction of a set of twelve different flowers to represent the months of the year is a recurring feature of Chinese decorative design from the Ming period onwards. At different dates, and in varying circumstances, a variety of alternatives were employed. This complete set demonstrates the flowers preferred in the 20th century. The peony, lotus, narcissus and chrysanthemum have been favourites since the Ming dynasty, but the fruit flowers such as peach and plum, and the magnolia, are definitely later preferences.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, August 1981

Place of origin
early 20th century
circa 1930
porcelain decorated with enamel colours
a - cup - Hibiscus; 4.5 x 8.6 cm
b - cup - Narcissus; 4.5 x 8.7 cm
c - cup - Chrysanthemum; 4.5 x 8.7 cm
d - cup - Prunus; 4.5 x 8.5 cm
e - cup - Guihua (sweet olive); 4.5 x 8.6 cm
f - cup - Blossoming peach (double peach); 4.5 x 8.6 cm
g - cup - Nandina; 4.5 x 8.5 cm
h - cup - Lotus; 4.5 x 8.5 cm
i - cup - Wax plum and camellia; 4.5 x 8.6 cm
j - cup - Peony bushes; 4.5 x 8.7 cm
k - cup - Pomegranate; 4.5 x 8.5 cm
l - cup - Magnolia (white); 4.5 x 8.7 cm
Gift of Mr and Mrs W.P. Hartwig 1981
Accession number