Primary Source

Sippy Cup [Artifact/Object]


This ceramic cup with a drinking spout is from the cargo of an Arab or Indian dhow that sank in the Strait of Malacca between 826 and 850 CE. The ship, which contained thousands of other ceramic pieces, was probably bound for the Persian Gulf. The cup was made at the Changshan ceramic production center, whose kilns produced export wares during the Tang dynasty (618-906 CE). Such cups may have been used for infants in wealthy Persian or Arab households. Pediatric treatises by physicians Ibn al-Jazzar (898-980) and al-Baladi (fl. 979) recommend special cups used for weaning infants. The cup is decorated with a splash pattern in green glaze. The fish design in the bottom of the cup might have amused a child, who could only see it after drinking all the liquid.


Maritime Explorations, and (cup interior), (accessed March 23, 2009).

How to Cite This Source

"Sippy Cup [Artifact/Object]," in Children and Youth in History, Item #220, (accessed July 17, 2018). Annotated by Susan Douglass