The cup of Chinese ingot shape, covered with a smooth and shiny glaze. The base is unglazed. The decoration is in overglaze enamels in a delicate and lively style. The outside of the cup is painted with laughing characters alternating with three-legged toads spitting out cash coins. One is standing with a flower basket and a hoe in hands, the other is seating with a fly-whisk, holding lotus stems.
This cup is showing the Daoist immortal Liu Haichan (劉海蟾). This deity is associated to wealth and happiness. He is traditionally represented as a child with a stash of coins and a tree-legged toad. He is the hero of a Chinese folktale called “Liuhai sporting with the toad”, in which Liu Haichan hooked the greedy toad from a deep well by using a string of cash. This iconography is regarded as highly auspicious and conducive to good fortune, as well with the ingot shape of the cup.