This is a porcelain Japanese Kutani tea set. The date is circa 1900.
There is a teapot and four cups with underplates.
The teapot is 7” high and 7” from spout-to-handle. The cups are 2 1/8” by 2 ¾”. The underplates or saucers are 7 ¾” by 4”.
The design is very much Kutani, with underlying colors of red and some areas of blue or blue-green and some pink, overlaid with a lot of gold in raised relief. The spout, handles and edges are trimmed in gold. There are dots of gold enamel around the edges.
The underplates have an open handle at one end. There is a cup rest and the other side is meant to hold food, like a cookie, biscuit or scone.
The porcelain of the cups is eggshell thin and you can see your fingers through the porcelain when holding a cup.
Here are the flaws. This set was loved and used and it is old, so there are flaws. The lid on the teapot has an edge repair, difficult to see from the top, but easy to spot on the underside. I show photos. The underplates have gold wear on the edges and the cups rests. There is some gold wear on the finial. Two underplates have a few nicks on the edge, one easy to see, and the others can be felt. There are no chips or cracks.
The signature is hand painted in gold, two Japanese characters, sometimes over red, and bordered in gold.
Japanese Kutani Tea Set Teapot 4 Cups & Underplates Gold Red c 1900
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