Yeguan Cup (Night Glittering Cup), Jiayuguan
Yeguan Cup has been well-known since ancient China. It gets its name because when it is filled with wine, moonlight is able to penetrate into the cup and makes it glittering. In the reign of King Muwang of Zhou Dynasty, the local rulers in west China once presented Yeguan Cups to the court. This is recorded in the book Haineishizhouji (The Ten States in China) written by a famous writer Dongfang Shuo of Han Dynasty. According to the book, the cup is made of white jade and it is glittering during night. A poem written by Wang Han of Tang Dynasty has made the cup more popular. The poem reads: “with wine of grapes the cups of jade would glow at night, drinking to Pipa songs (Pipa is a traditional Chinese musical instrument), we are summoned to fight. Don’t laugh if we lay drunken on the battleground! How many ancient warriors came back safe and sound?” (This poem is translated by Xu Yuanchong). The cup was made of the jade from the Qilian Mountain. In Tang Dynasty, there were more than 30 workshop making jade wares. However, in the period of Ming and Qing Dynasty, there were still a dozen of such workshops.
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