This cup and saucer has an amusing story, which I want to share with you. It was a gift to my grandparents from the silent film star Colleen Moore. This I learned from my grandfather's detailed inventory report. It also makes sense to me that they could have known Colleen Moore because of my grandmother's passion in miniature houses, and miniatures in general. (Her family miniature replica of Mt. Vernon is in on display in the Allen County Museum located in Lima, Oh.)
Colleen Moore was always fascinated by dolls and doll houses. She owned several elaborate doll houses as a child, but later in life her father, suggested that she should pursue her passion for miniatures and doll houses by creating the "doll house" of her dreams. Beginning in 1928, Moore enlisted the help of many talented professionals to help her realize her vision. Her elaborate miniature house, known as Colleen Moore's "Fairy Castle" was created in the 1930s, and was donated to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago in 1949. It is still on display today.
Anyways, back to the cup and saucer; my grandfather also noted in his inventory that this cup and saucer was manufactured by "Royal Vienna" and that it was once the cup of Mary Todd Lincoln while Mr. Lincoln was President. I am sure that this history was what was told by Colleen Moore. Well, come to find out¸ in doing my research, this is the mark is of Ackermann & Fritz of Germany, which also used the "beehive" mark. The real confirmation that this mark is not "Royal Vienna" is the stamp "Germany" on the back. The last time I checked Vienna is not in Germany.
Ackermann & Fritze, from Volkstedt, Germany, manufactured pottery from 1908 – 1951. Mary Todd Lincoln was born in 1818 and died in 1882, so I am confident this was not her demitasse cup and saucer, as noted in my grandfather's inventory.
So please, let me present to you a gorgeous demitasse cup and saucer that is NOT "Royal Vienna" and was never touched by Mary Todd Lincoln....but I feel very comfortable in saying that it was a gift from Colleen Moore.
The saucer is 4 inches wide; the cup height is 1 ¾ inches with a width of 2 ¾ inches. It is an exquisite example of "Vienna" style work; the inside of the cup is hand-painted with a "French court scene" of a lady and gent dancing, and a musician playing an instrument on the side. It is in good condition.
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