Kyusu means teapot in Japanese (short, sweet, to the point). Compare with a related example of a rhinoceros horn cup carved with egrets in the Museum voor Volkenkunde, Rotterdam, illustrated by J.Chapman, The Art of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China, London, 1999, no.83; see also a rhinoceros horn 'lotus and egrets' cup, which was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8 October 2014, lot 3784.
The two Gallehus Horns (early 5th century), made from some 3 kg of gold and electrum each, are usually interpreted as drinking horns, although some scholars point out that it cannot be ruled out that they may have been intended as blowing horns After the discovery of the first of these horns in 1639, Christian IV of Denmark by 1641 did refurbish it into a usable drinking horn, adding a rim, extending its narrow end and closing it up with a screw-on pommel.
The vessel in the form of an open lotus leaf, naturalistically carved around the exterior in high relief and openwork with gnarled knotty stems issuing undulating lotus blooms and leaf, vividly decorated with three egrets perching on drinking horn the bending stems and millet leaves, the entangled stems forming the base, extending upwards to form the handle on one side of the cup, binding together with millet grass, the horn of an attractive amber honey tone, box.
In the illustrations of Ming and Qing dynasty encyclopaedias such as the Sancai tuhui and Gujin tushu jicheng, woodblock engravings show the rhinoceros
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