The ancients developed an artifact, or named it, never took it for granted, and often had a certain meaning. For example: fair cup, literally means justice. What is justice? The simplest understanding is not partial. So how can an artifact be unbiased? Here I have to admire the wisdom of the ancients, and the fair cup is indeed very fair.
Qing Guangxu Yixing kiln green land pastel fair cup Collection of the Palace Museum
Song Jun porcelain fair cup
The fair cup first appeared in the Song Dynasty, and its main function was to use it when drinking alcohol. The fair cup is actually a cup, the difference is that there is an old man (or dragon head) in the center of the cup, and there is a hollow porcelain tube inside. The bottom of the porcelain tube is connected to the small hole at the bottom of the cup, and the upper mouth of the porcelain tube is located on the chest of the old man (or the chin of the dragon head). Don’t underestimate the old man (faucet) in the center of the cup, this is exactly the principle of the fair cup.
Southern Song Dynasty Longquan kiln green glaze fair cup
Yuan Jun kiln moon white glaze fair cup
Ancient people often have a close drink, for close people, hope that the other party to drink more, for the relationship is not good, may be poured less wine in the glass, the appearance of the fair cup is to avoid this unfair phenomenon. According to legend, in the early years of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang feasted the ministers. At this time, Jingdezhen paid a new tribute to a batch of porcelain “Nine Dragon Cup” (Fair Cup), and the emperor gave the Nine Dragon Cup to the minister for drinking. For close ministers, the emperor would deliberately pour more wine; For those who had little merit, the emperor ordered the attendants to be few to the point. However, to the emperor’s surprise, the minister who poured a lot of wine did not drink a single sip; The courtiers who poured less wine drank very happily.
Yuan Longquan kiln celadon fair cup
Yuan Green glaze fair cup
It turns out that the magic of the “Kowloon Cup” (fair cup) is this, there is a red dot on the part of the dragon’s chin, and if the wine is poured beyond this red dot, the wine will automatically enter the porcelain pipe flow of the faucet through the red dot. And those poured wine below the red dot, on the contrary, no accidents happened. After Zhu Yuanzhang saw this phenomenon, he was also ashamed of his partiality, so he gave it the name “Fair Cup”. He also left a saying: the contented have water, and the greedy will run out. Teaching people not to be insatiable can be said to be very connotative.
Qing Dynasty Blue and White Sea Dragon Pattern Fair Cup (pair)
Qingqianlong Blue and white fair cup
So there is another question, how does the fair cup do justice? This involves a siphon principle in physics, the liquid surface of different heights will produce force, and an inverted U-shaped tube is placed on the surface of the liquid of different heights, and when the water in the U-shaped tube is full, the liquid in the high position will automatically flow to the low position through the siphon principle of the U-shaped tube. It can be seen that our ancients were not only good at making porcelain, but also at physics.
Qingqianlong red pastel too white drunken pattern fair cup
Kiyodo Light Holly glaze birthday star fair cup
Based on the meaning expressed by the fair cup, the firing of the fair cup was almost not cut off after the Song Dynasty, and it was still justified by Zhu Yuanzhang in the Ming Dynasty. After the Song Dynasty, porcelain craftsmanship is mature, and there are many types of glaze colors, which are also reflected in the fair cup, and through the inheritance, people can see various categories such as blue and white, blue glaze, white glaze, and jun porcelain. In modern society, the fair cup is no longer a drinking utensil, old objects can be used as collectibles, and new objects can be used as tea utensils (so that the tea concentration is uniform), which can be called an evergreen tree in the porcelain circle.