This dainty little cup and saucer are a hard to find chocolate set that contrasts with the much commoner, squatty style demitasse after-dinner china, from the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Our set, made in the mid-1930s - early 1940s, is from the "second generation" of this well-loved, long-lived pattern that lasted until passenger service ended.
CONDITION is spectacular: fabulous in shades of deep blue cobalt on crisp white, and the cup has the sought-after blue line inside. Graphics are clear and well defined with no glaze runs. Absolutely NO cracks, chips, flakes or repairs. We had trouble trying to find any use marks on the cup, and the saucer appears to be as close to mint condition as not-new china can be. The only manufacturing flaws we can find are a few tiny bumps in the glaze on the inside bottom of the cup and a very few on the underside of the saucer rim.
SIZE: The cup is 2.25 inches tall and 2.25 inches top diameter. The saucer is 4.5 inches across. Note the narrow 1.5 inch cup well in the saucer.
Dinnerware in this pattern, called Centenary (or Colonial) was ordered by the B&O for its 1927 centennial celebration. The first pieces were made by the Scammell China Company in their better Lamberton grade ware, and were were bottom marked "Patent Applied For." The following subsequent orders, also Scammell/Lamberton, were marked "Design Patented" and made through the 1940s.
BOTH the saucer AND the tiny cup are bottom marked correctly, with the B&O railway name, and 1827 - 1927 setting off a Capitol dome. As "Design Patented," this set is part of that second group, but the presence of the blue fill line confirms that it is one of the earlier and therefore more desirable pieces.
DECORATION on the cup depicts transition in motive power over the years from a Horse Drawn Car 1830 to the Tom Thumb engine 1830 to a Mogul "600" locomotive in 1875. The cup decoration is a panorama view of the Thomas Viaduct 1835.
This little set is just waiting to be eye candy in any higher end railroad china collection.
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