This 150 ml three-piece porcelain gaiwan has a scene of Yangzhou on one side and a poem by Chinese poet Du Mu (803-852) of the Tang Dynasty on the other side. The Chinese characters on the lid and saucer translate as “light & elegant aroma”. Du Mu was famous for his poems about impermanence, separation, and decadence.
The poem printed on the gaiwan is called “A Message to Han Cho the Yangzhou Magistrate”. Mr. Han Cho was a good friend of Du Mu. The poem is about a time when the two friends were separated (Du Mu was in the North and Mr. Han Cho was in the South of China in Yangzhou). The first two lines of the poem talk about the lush environment of Yangzhou, which stays green for most of the year. The last two lines depict a beautiful (and fleeting) evening of fun and music while he is missing his friend. Tea is good company when you miss someone.
“A Message to Han Cho the Yangzhou Magistrate”
There are faint green mountains and far green waters,
And grasses in this river region not yet faded by autumn;
And clear in the moon on the Twenty-Four Bridges,
Girls white as jade are teaching flute-music.
Approximate dimensions (including cup, saucer, & lid): 4.5"W x 3.5"H