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Antique pearlware coffee cup with transfer printed riverscape on a ribbed cup shape that has burnished gold accents. The riverscape scene is rendered in a Chinese style that was popular on Blue & White Chinese Export porcelain in the mid to late 1700s. Underglaze blue printing on pearlware, an earthenware body, was developed in the early to mid 1780s after being perfected over the glaze on higher temperature English porcelain some 30 years earlier. The first patterns applied to pearlware were based on hand painted Chinese export patterns of the 1760s and 1770s.

There is no makers marks or factory names on this coffee cup and so we do not know the name of the factory that produced it. Collectors of blue & white transfer printed wares have assimilated a vast amount of information on patterns and factories in the last 30 years. Some of the attributes on this coffee cup suggest Thomas Wolfe or Thomas Minton, however this is purely speculative and in reality there are dozens of other potteries in Staffordshire and elsewhere across England that also produced variants of this same pattern. If any viewer knows the name of the factory that made this cup, kindly drop me an email - thanks. The handle form may be helpful and some of the other useful attributes of the pattern on this cup include (a) a very ornate fence post finial (see Photos #2 and #5), (b) a second bridge that is located on the large island off in the distance (see Photo #1), (c) three small window niches on the inner courtyard wall (see Photos #3 and #4), (d) a staple-roof pagoda (see Photo #4), (e) a bow shaped sampan (boat; see Photo #3), (f) five daisy-like flowers printed on the spine of the handle (obscured by a Gold line; see Photo #6), and (g) a uncommon double curved lower handle profile (see Photo #1).

The particular transfer printed scene on this coffee cup has several different labels given by various authorities and collectors over the past 50 years. The labels include Temple, Two Temples, Broseley, Pagoda, and even Willow (see Robert Copeland’s ‘Spode Willow Pattern and Other Designs after the Chinese’ published in 1999 edition: see p. 159 for list under Two Temples). The key elements of the pattern are the tall multistoried Pagoda surrounded by a walled garden and a covered gate house in front, a bridge with two people crossing it, fences in the foreground along the river bank and a large island across the open water with buildings and a second bridge standing on it well off in the distance (see all Photos).

The shape of this cup is elongated and so it is a coffee or chocolate cup rather than a teacup (teacups are squatter and wider). The convex vertical ribs on the exterior of this cup are reeds as opposed to concave furrows called flutes. Not all coffee cups were originally sold with matching companion saucers and in the case of the cup here, the saucer would have been fluted and not reeded or ribbed.

The date when this coffee cup was produced falls somewhere between about 1790 and 1810, hence the c1800 mid-date. This assignment is based on the cup’s shape, pearlware glaze and the technical attributes of the engraved pattern. Specifically, all of the engraving on the master plate that produced this transfer print is line engraving with just a few plain areas of the printed apparently perfected by applying an acid wash to the master copper plate. The acid wash was limit to areas on the flat copper plate not protected by a wax coating and thereby the acid bit into the copper surface to produced a very fine roughness that yielded a distinctive hazy blue ground when wiped with cobalt pigment. The use of acid to treat copper plates was perfected by engravers making master plates for producing paper prints many decades before it was applied to engraved plates for printing on pearlware.

Of further importance is the fact that the print on the cup listed here also does not display stipple punching, an engraving technique that uses small dots punched into the master plate to produced softer details. At first, stipple punching was combined with line engraving and both appear on the same master copper plate with stippling restricted to broad areas and non linear elements. By 1810, stipple engraved details were more common and transfers taken from master plates consisting of solely line engraved details disappeared. Stipple punching was also used for overglaze bat printed patterns and bat printing also greatly increased in fashion among Staffordshire factories after 1810, too.

The last Photo shows this pearlware coffee cup flanked by two other transfer printed coffee cups in porcelain and that have very similar printed Chinese riverscape patterns (these two porcelain coffee cups are not for sale here). You are only purchasing the pearlware cup shown all by itself in the first 8 photos. The two porcelain cups in Photo #9 are shown for comparison only and not for sale at this time. Of course, the antique pearlware coffee cup for sale here is over 200 years old and is in very good condition (see Condition section below for all details). Finally, all the photos help illustrate that this pearlware coffee cup also displays well and will capture attention and conversation in most any setting. And of course, this pearlware cup also comes with a full satisfaction guarantee or return it for a refund (see return policy below for full details, certain shipping costs & fees are nonrefundable).

SIZE: This pearlware coffee cup stands about 2 3/4 inches tall and has a rim diameter that measures about 2 3/4 inches across. It has a footring with a diameter of 1 7/8 inches across. It is the perfect size for displaying on a shelf, out in the open or in a cabinet.

CONDITION: This pearlware coffee cup has no major issues and no cracks, hairlines, star cracks, major scratches, repairs or restorations. The handle is perfect and the burnished gold rim band is more than 95% intact with just a few tops the fluted edge worn from centuries of use and cleaning. One of the tops of the fluted rim edge has a glaze chip that is hardly noticeable and is located at about the 10 o’clock position in Photo #7 that shows the full rim of the top of the cup (see Photo #7). The burnished gold line down the back of the handle and the small crows foot also in gold at the bottom of the handle are also fully intact. The glaze is shiny and bright and has minimal crazing (see all Photos) and a better example would be hard to find today without paying a lot more than what is asked here. Of course, if the buyer is not 100% satisfied, then she/he may return this cup for a refund (see our complete return policy noted below).

SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $7.90 for well packed and insured USPS Priority Mail. No handling or packing fees are ever charged. All international buyers will also pay less than the exact shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the continental US mainland since we strive to help reduce these costs for everyone no matter where they live. Additionally, we only use the USPS for International shipping to reduce broker fees and certain Custom’s charges when an item is over 100 years old and your Country allows a waiver. We ask the International customer to send us their address for an email quote covering all insured International shipping options to your location. 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. However, 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 their purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within fourteen 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. 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. 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. Or see our Terms of Sale for additional information. Thanks for looking and do come back and visit again when you have the time.

INV: RL789.a1913

Item ID: RL789.a1913

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c1800 Pearlware Coffee Cup with Chinese Riverscape, Willow tree, Temples, Bridges, Rocks


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