Early Blue And White Transferware Miniature Toy Cup And Saucer Opium Smoker Pattern Pearlware Circa 1805
This wonderful matching miniature blue and white pearlware cup and saucer was produced in England at the very start of the 19th century, circa 1800 to 1815. This is a rare pattern; we have not found another identical example. The chinoiserie pattern features a man and woman sat among landscaped gardens. Unusually the man is sat smoking opium through a very long pipe, the woman attendant is shading him with an umbrella. Please see page 266 of The Dictionary of Blue & White Porcelain 17880-1880 where you will see that C J Mason & Co produced an 'Opium Smokers' scene with a bridge and pagoda, including figures standing on the balcony of a pavilion. However, it is not the same as our scene.
The gloriously glossy cup and saucer are of toy proportions measuring: Cup diameter with handle 3 2/8” (8.3 cm). Cup diameter without handle 2 5/8” (6.5 cm). Cup height 1 5/8” (4 cm). Saucer diameter 4 1/8” (10 cm). Saucer height 1” (2.5 cm).
Both items are in good condition for their vast age. The patterns are bright and crisp; there is natural crazing to the glaze throughout as to be expected. There is an area of unglazed firing roughness to the handle. To the side of the cup again a firing fault of a popped air bubbled in the glaze. There is a tiny shallow firing fault shrinkage indentation to the body of the cup next to the man that is below the transfer. There is a tiny less than 1/16" (2 mm) nibble to the foot rim. The saucer has two firing fault surface grazes to the base. There are three very small flea size nibbles to the foot rim.
This is a quality item in a rare pattern, perfect for anyone who collects early English pottery and porcelain.
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