Antique pearlware handled coffee cup in the Buffalo pattern from the 1790s or first decade of the 1800s. This pattern is among the five or six oldest printed patterns found on English pearlware and was likely first produced in the early 1780s. Tradition suggests that Thomas Minton first engraved this pattern after copying a hand painted version found on blue and white Chinese export porcelain and it was then copy and used by many other potteries (Coysh and Henrywood's Dictionary of Blue and White Printed Pottery 1780-1880: Volume I edition 1993A: pg 62). Most pearlware examples are not marked and the factory that produced this coffee cup is not known (see Robert Copeland's third edition of Spode Willow Pattern and other Designs after the Chinese published by Bath Press Ltd. in 1999: see pp. 100 to 116; also figs. 1 to 37 for many examples). This pattern has been given several names by Staffordshire collectors over the years and `boy on a buffalo' is the more common name. Others simply call this printed motif the `Buffalo pattern' since many of the water buffalo riders may not be just young boys since some rendering have two hair tufts making some of the riders look like they are wearing mickey mouse ears (see buffalo riders on Copeland's Type A and Type D patterns, pages 110-111 in Copeland 1999; Ibid). C.A.S Williams cautiously noted that the heads of young Chinese children were often shaven with two side tufts left for young girls and a single top knot for young boys (See Copeland 1999:page 116, footnote IV). Finally, A.W. Coysh and R.K. Henrywood's mention that this pattern may represent the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu riding the water buffalo on his way to`the regions beyond' (see Coysh and Henrywood's Volume I edition 1993A: pg 62). Lao-Tzu was born in 604 BC, founded Taosim which emphasized compassion and humility, was interviewed by Confucius in 517 and toward the end of his life set off to look for more peaceful surroundings.
As noted above, this pattern is a very early transfer pattern and underglaze transfer prints on pearlware were first produced in about 1782. Some of the early potters that produced printed Buffalo patterns on pearlware before 1800 include Josiah Spode, John Turner, Thomas Wolfe and Joshua Heath to name a few. Copeland discusses five major variants of the pattern, Listed as Groups A, B, C, D & E (see Copeland 1999: pp 102 to 106) and the coffee cup listed here has some affinities with Group B. In fact, the nearly horizontal pointing arm of the buffalo rider is closest to the pattern seen on a pre-1800 fragment of pearlware dug up in 1936 under a glost oven constructed in 1795 to 1800 at the Spode factory (see Copeland 1999: pp 115, Fig. 36; compare banded banyan trees, rocks behind other figures, etc.). The cup for sale here has a finely molded ear-shaped handle with a gold line along its upper spine and accent ridges on each side (see all photos).
Early printed coffee cups are far less common than tea cups or tea bowls (handleless tea cups). The exterior of this cup is reeded with 24 convex vertical columns in low relief that run from the rim all the way down to the very top of the foot ring. The foot ring is tall and has strong blue-puddled glaze collecting along the inside of the footring on the underside of base (see Photo closeup of base). There are three contact scars from kiln furniture on the bottom of the footring, one of which dislodged a small chip when the kiln material was dislodged from the cup after firing. The last photo shows the location of the three kiln contact scars using blue arrows set on the bottom of the cup (see full Condition statement farther below since there is no major damage to the cup). So if you are looking for a nice early transfer printed pearlware coffee cup or chocolate cup from the late 1700s or first decade of the 1800s, then make sure you seriously consider this example while it is still available. And as always, this Buffalo pattern cup also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy for a refund (see full Return Policy details farther below).
SIZE: This cup stands about 2 1/2 inches tall and measures 2 5/8 inches across at the rim. It stands on a 5/16 inch tall foot ring that measures 1 3/4 inches across (diameter). It is a wonderful 200+ years old coffee cup that will display well on a shelf, window ledge, china cabinet, table or mantle and will certainly capture attention in most any setting.
CONDITION: This coffee cup is in excellent condition with no chips, no hairlines, no stains, no major scratches, no repairs and no restorations. The one small chip along the bottom of its footring was caused during production when the cup stuck to some kiln furniture after firing and the material was removed by a kiln worker when the wares were unloaded. The last two photos show this small glaze chip which is hardly noticeable when the cup is sitting upright (see all photos). A pencil points to this small production chip in the second to the last photo, and the last photo illustrates how the chip was caused by a trivet sticking to the foot ring after firing (see last photo; the blue arrows each pointing to a contact mark caused by the kiln trivet). The gold gilding is more than 99.4% intact and the decorative handle is a perfect as the day the cup was removed from the glost oven or kiln. Of course, if the buyer is not 100% satisfied, then she/he may return this cup for a refund (see our refund policy noted below).
SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $9.80 for well packed and insured USPS Priority Mail (this is an estimated savings of about $1 to $3 since insurance is also INCLUDED in the above quoted amount for all mainland US addresses). No handling or packing fees are ever charged and fragile items will be double packed for maximum protection. All international buyers will pay only the exact shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the continental US mainland (email us for an insured International shipping quote). We have shipped fragile items to 27 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). Items damaged by shipping in the US 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 (we have not had any claims for damage or loss in over six years). Of course, never send an item back that has been 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 the time.
Item ID: RL558.a1423
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