Stem Cup, Period of Tibetan Empire, 7th–9th century, China (Xinjiang Autonomous Region, Central Asia). Gold with repoussé decoration. H. 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm); Diam. of mouth 2 3/4 in. (7 cm). Purchase, 2001 Benefit Fund, 2002; 2002.19. © 2000–2016 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The intertwined vine with its curled leaves is reminiscent of Sogdian imagery and motifs found in Gandharan Dionysian reliefs. The twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac are placed in rectangular frames beneath the cup rim.