Chinese ’12 Flowers of the Months’ Teacups – February/Apricot Blossoms

It figures……there’s a snag in this concept.

Just as I was about to write the February post for cup #2  in my series – apricot blossoms – I realized that my set does not have the appropriate cup. Or more correctly, does not have a cup with the appropriate flower. According to the best information that I can find, the February cup should depict apricot blossoms, yet no such flower is represented in my set. In fact, there are no spring blossoms of any kind that are not already accounted for.

Now I am not saying that my set arrived missing an actual cup, because I indeed have 12 cups with no duplications of image or verse. So, what then, is my mystery cup ?

It appears to be a lush display of hibiscus blossoms, and according to the translation:

standing still, hibiscus flowers at autumn’s water

The information that I have about the 12 Flowers of the Months teacup set on display in the Falstaff Museum of Teawares in Hong Kong does not list hibiscus flowers among the set, so this is indeed curious.

I was under the impression that these cups always represented the same 12 flowers; so is the rendering of  ‘ hibiscus’  in my set an example of modern artistic license or can the 12 flowers indeed vary ?

If anyone knows, please comment here. I will be in China in the spring, and will certainly try and pose the question.  But that will still not solve my problem, because, what are the chances of finding an apricot blossom cup that will match the rest of the cups in my set ?  Slim to none, I would guess.

For detailed information on the history of Chinese 12 Flowers of the Months tea cups, please read my post from January 1st, 2010.


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