Early 1800s English Porcelain Green Dragon Teacup and Saucer with enameling and gilding

Chinese Dragon Pattern in green on an antique English porcelain tea cup and saucer from the early 1800s. At least three British manufacturers produced several versions of a Chinese inspired motif of dragons flying among cloud formations. Robert Copeland (1999:145-146), for example discusses in his book Spode's Willow Pattern and other Designs after the Chinese (Third Edition) three particular dragon patterns that were produced by Spode alone in the 19th century. The first dragon pattern at Spode was issued about 1815 and a green enameled version was issued under Spode Pattern #2414 (Copeland 1999: 145, also see Plate #29). Charles James Mason produced a Chinese Dragon pattern in about 1815, just a few years after taking over the Mason's factory operations from his father, Miles Mason (see Reginald Haggar and Elizabeth Adams 1977 `Mason Porcelain & Ironstone 1796-1853'; pages 75 & 78, and Plate #98). One of the Chinese Dragon patterns manufactured by C. J. Mason was described as very costly to produce when gilded because it took and entire day to add the gold to the largest set (Ibid. 1977: page 78). Another pottery that allegedly produced a Chinese Dragon pattern was Davenport and there are also several other unknown factories that produced other dragon motif variants (see Coysh and Henrywood's Dictionary of Blue and White Printed Pottery 1780-1880, Volume I reprinted 1993 page 82; also Volume II edition 1992 pages 54-55).

As for the porcelain factory that produced this handled cup and matching saucer, one can only suggest because there are no makers marks or names on either vessel. The potting is medium thin rather than heavy and the overglaze green painting and gilding are carefully rendered by hand. The green enameling follows over top of the transfer printed pattern and the transfer pattern itself was added over the glaze. The transfer print is implemented in a grayish black pigment and was pulled from a line engraved copper plate. The course line work and the lack of any stippling suggests that this cup and saucer dates from before 1820. The gold is burnished by hand and the teacup has a bute shape (the cup has a footrim rather than a footring) with a knopped handle of a style that was used by Miles Mason before retiring in 1813 (see Haggar and Adams 1977: page 118, handle entry 9a). An identical size and bute-shaped Mile Mason's porcelain teacup also with an identical handle form is also shown in Plate 75 (ibid., Plate 75, decoration on it is floral and not the same as the cup listed here). Spode does not seem to have produced this particular Mason's handle form which also ends with well defined and elongated pointed terminal attachments. And so it is suggested here that this porcelain cup and saucer may be an early example from Miles Mason or his son, CJ Mason that was produced before 1820 (from the 1810 to 1820 period). The gilding on the handle spine and terminals closely follows the gilding pattern shown by Haggar and Adams (1977: page 118, handle decoration entry #10b) and exhibits the same small extra flourishes and dashes.

The last photo shows this green dragon cup and saucer next to two other items that are not for sale here, but shown for making color comparisons. There is a Davenport small pearlware pitcher with a green feathered shell edge rim from about 1820 (not for sale at this time), and below it is a blue transfer printed English porcelain saucer from about 1810 (also not for sale here). The one dollar bill is also not included but shown simply for helping interested buyers better judge size. And so whether you collect examples of pottery or porcelain that portray fantastic mythological creatures or simply enjoy green decorated antique wares from the last millennium, then you may certainly want to purchase this cup and saucer while it is still available (green is a very popular among collectors, dealers and decorators). Finally, this item also comes with my full Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy for a refund (see full Return Policy details farther below; the cup and saucer are sold as a single lot and must be sent back together - thanks, Doc).

SIZE: The teacup stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and is about 3 5/16 inch diameter at the rim (it also has about 1 11/16 inch diameter footrim). The saucer has a 5 3/8 inch diameter at its rim and stands 1 1/8 inches tall (it also has about 3 1/4 inch diameter footring).Together, the cup and saucer make a nice antique set for displaying on a shelf, mantle, window ledge or in a display case or china cabinet and will certainly capture attention in any setting.

CONDITION: The overglaze green enameling on both cup and saucer is more than 99.7% intact (most would probably say 100%). The gold gilding on the saucer is also more than 99.7% intact and on the cup more than 96% intact (see all photos). Neither the cup or saucer have any chips, major stains, heavy wear, deep scratches, repairs or restoration. The saucer has an internal flattened V-shaped hairline near its inside center that extends 1 1/4 inches along one branch and about 3/4 inches along its opposite branch but does not reach the foot ring or rim. In two photos, a black pen points to the center of hairline along the back of the saucer. The hairline is tight, stable and nearly impossible to see on the decorated face of the saucer. also is in very good condition with just one very tight hairline. The cup has a single 1/4 inch long short hairline along its rim opposite the handle that is also so small that it is not readily noticeable until you search for it up close. The handle is perfect and a better hand painted and gilded early green dragon English porcelain cup and saucer would likely cost a buyer another $75 to $145 over the price asked here. Of course, if the buyer is not completely satisfied, then she/he may return both saucer and cup for a refund (see our refund policy noted below; if returned, both saucer and cup must be sent back together since they are sold here as a single - thanks).

SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $11.70 for well packed and insured USPS Priority Mail (this is an estimated savings of about $1 to $4 since insurance & tracking are also INCLUDED in the above quoted amount for all mainland US addresses). If you live in Texas or in an adjacent state, simply email me for a revised quote. No handling or packing fees are ever charged and fragile items are double packed for maximum protection. All international buyers will pay only the exact shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the continental US mainland. Insurance against loss or damage is not available on International First Class Parcels (limited to 4 lbs maximum weight), International Economy shipping or some International Priority Shipping. The International buyer will be asked to acknowledge this fact or upgrade to an International shipping option with insurance against loss or damage (email us for an insured International shipping quote). We have shipped fragile items to 26 countries around the globe to date and have not had any items lost or broken, however this fact does not guarantee that no postal mishandling will ever occur in the future. Also, please note that International import duties, taxes and other charges are not included in the item price or shipping costs and these additional charges are the Buyer's responsibility. We do offer a petition for VAT relief on the behalf of the buyer which may help reduce certain import taxes should your country allow such petitions for items over 100 years old. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing this item -- thanks.

RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques Ruby Lane listings -- please refer directly to our Service Pledge and our Return Policy for full details. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with the purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within ten days of original receipt for a refund (certain shipping costs are non-refundable). For this item here, both saucer and cup must be sent back together since they are sold as a single - thanks. And for items damaged by shipping in the US, these are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we double pack, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary (to date, we have had only two claims for damage from shipping in over nine years). Of course, never send an item back that was damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help and we will gladly assist.

PAYMENT OPTIONS: We accept checks on US Banks (no temporary checks, all checks must have 9 digit routing code; item ships after check fully clears), USPS money orders, PayPal or contact us with your verified address for more options. If you wish to use a credit card by way of Paypal, that option becomes available after you submit a Ruby Lane purchase order (see Terms of Sale for additional information). Once submitted, a PayPal icon will appear at the bottom of this listing and then you may proceed from there if you wish to pay via Paypal. Thanks for looking and do come back and visit again when you have more time.

Item ID: RL551.a1446nye

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Docs Antiques

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