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Tang Dynasty Gold Chalice

This is a Tang Dynasty Gold Chalice that was originally used as a wine cup. It was created about 750 A.D. and excavated in 1957 from the Heija Village in Xian, China. The same excavation also yielded a small gold bowl with extremely similar markings and gold content, which is now on display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.Tang Dynasty Gold ChaliceWhile the location of no other Tang Dynasty Gold Chalice is know, it is not claimed that this is unique and the only one existent in the world; as it is known that an extremely similar Tang Chalice was once owned by John D. Rockefeller; however, it's current location is now not known.

Li Pu, one of the greatest Chinese poets, who wrote during the Tang Dynasty, frequently mentioned gold wine cups, using them as symbols of happiness and luxury. Both the poetry and the wine cup give a sense joy, longing, love, friends, happiness, and extravagant wealth..........."See the waters of the Yellow River leapTang Dynasty Gold Chalice down from Heaven...Rollaway to the deep sea and never turn again!...See at the mirror in the High Hall, Aged men bewailing white locks in the morning, threads of silk, in the evening flakes of snow...Snatch the joys of life as they come and use them to the fullest...Do not leave your gold cup idly glinting at the moon...The things that Heaven made Man was meant to use."..........[From "Chiang Chin Chiu" by Li Pu.]

As seen in the photographs, highly detailed incised flowers and birds on a rolled, beaten gold chalice. Spectacular hand-done detail work on a 8.5 cm tall cup. Very few, if any, other examples of this chalice exist in the world today--is in absolutely pristine condition........ [For a comparable example of the work (Item 280, Gold bowl with embossed Lotus petal design from the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art), please refer to The Chinese Exhibition: The Exhibition of Archeological Finds of the People's Republic of China, from the Washington D.C. National Gallery of Art, The Nelson Gallery-Atkins Museum, and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, all in 1975.] .

This, possibly unique, but exquisite chalice was beautifully created by the "beaten gold" technique (with the tell-tale "bump" of gold internal to the bowl as is typical with that creation method). The chalice shows extreme high detail on each of its panels. [There are offered here a large number of photos, showing each of the highly detailed panels; but, if one is seriously interested, there is also offered, at request, a DVD showing more detailed pictures from more angles.]

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This item was held in a private Chinese Collection, sold to a private Hong Kong collector, and then sold by the Willow Antiquities Gallery of Hong Kong to a private US collector. An x-ray fluorescent spectrographic analysis completed at the Detroit Institute of Arts showed that of over 200 spots on the chalice it revealed a consistent extremely high amount of gold (about 97% to 98 %) and the remainder being silver--more importantly, there was no silicone detected which would have indicated a modern manufacturing technique and, therefore a fake. Each panel depicts a scene of nature.....such as birds, lotus leaves, trees...(TG-003)..$735,500