Rare Children's Colorful Transferware Cup and Saucer TOM THE PIPER'S SON ~ DANCING PIGS Copeland late Spode made for Harrods of London Staffordshire England c. 1900
This whimsical children's transferware cup and saucer, circa 1900, was originally part of a complete children's miniature tea set. The little cup stands stands 1 1/2” tall and the saucer measures 4 1/4" in diameter. The set was made of earthenware, transfer printed and hand embellished with brilliant primary colors, depicting whimsical and playful scenes of pigs dancing the jig to the melodies of a piper's hornpipe -- probably Tom (Tom) the Piper's Son of nursery rhyme fame, with a couple swing dancing on the reverse side of the cup along with another dancing pig.
The set is marked with the transfer printed backstamp of Copeland late Spode with a mark dating to around 1890-1910. It also bears a rare retailers imprint for Harrods department store on Brompton Road in London. The iconic Harrods was established in 1834 as a wholesale grocery and tea shop; the store relocated to its present location on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge in 1880. The store has always been known for its famous clientele which included Oscar Wilde, Noël Coward, Sigmund Freud, A. A. Milne, and the British royal family. The Harrods retailers' mark is a mark of excellence and patterns of china that were designed exclusively for the posh shop.
The set is in great condition, with no chips, cracks or repairs. It was impeccably potted and the transfers were printed and painted with great attention to detail with very minor manufacturing flaws typical of the period. The imaginative transfers are absolutely captivating. It is amazing that this little set was made for a child so long ago! Children's early tea wares of this quality are quite scarce and highly sought after.