Here is quite an unusual set--a Chinese Export cup and saucer made in direct imitation of the Worcester Queen's pattern. The British people imported millions of pieces of Chinese porcelain during the 18th century. Chinese porcelain was so cheap that sometimes the British ordered sets from Chinese makers that were copies of English patterns. A businessman would send over samples in the pattern he wanted, and the Chinese would make copies and ship them to England. In England, the Chinese copies could still be sold cheaper than native British wares, even after the cost of transport from China to Europe was taken into account! So what are the signs that this set--which looks like Worcester--is actually Chinese even though it copies the Worcester fretted square mark in blue on the bottom? First, it is hard paste porcelain, which Worcester didn't make. Second, it has an "orange peel" surface, which is a sign of Chinese Export porcelain. Third, the colored enamels sit on top of the glaze. (On genuine Worcester, they would settle flat and not leave bumps.) Fourth, this Worcester pattern normally uses gilding, but this set uses yellow in those places. The flower decoration on comparable Worcester pieces is slightly asymmetrical, while this decoration is much more symmetrical. Also, the skill of the painting in general is not up to Worcester quality. It looks rather haphazard. So it is an unusual example of the trade in porcelain that went on between China and Europe in the 18th century. Very unusual. The set is in excellent condition with no damage. The saucer is four and five-eighths inches across.
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