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Origin: Asia, China, Jingdezhen
H: 1 3/4"; Diam: 3"
Porcelain, hard-paste
Bequest of Elizabeth Ridgely Blagojevich
Acc. No. 1991-180,8
Chinese porcelain teacup decorated with opaque enamels. The cup sits on a 3/16" vertical footring. Exterior decoration consists of two pairs of reserves on an ink color diaper ground. The larger two are circular, though truncated at the rim. One shows a scribe working at a table with a woman at his left who may have just brought the teapot and cups that sit before them. The second shows a man leaning on a green and blue porcelain seat just inside the door of a house while a woman approaches from the right with an open fan. Trees, a village, and a pagoda stand outside. The smaller reserves are bordered at top and bottom with gilt scrollwork and feature two small birds facing each other on branches against a sepia and iron red background of blossoms and perhaps sunset. The interior rim bears a hexagonal cell band with black-edged gilt band below and gilt rim above.
Label:Chinese figures in elaborate buildings or garden settings were popular motifs on export porcelain beginning in the mid-18th century. Known in the period as “image china,” this fashion derived from decoration prevalent on Chinese domestic market wares. Scenes from popular literature were frequently represented on porcelain. In 1757, George Washington ordered tea wares like these for Mount Vernon from his factor in England. Variations of this more elaborate design on the teacup have been found at the site of the Governor’s Palace and at the Thomas Everard house. Elaborately decorated pieces like this cup led to the 19th-century style commonly referred to by collectors as Rose Mandarin.
Provenance:Elizabeth Blagojevich, Dresden, Maryland