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Cup and Saucer

Decorative Arts

On View: American Identities: A New Look, American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Nations Divided, 1860–1910, 5th Floor

The elegant form of this tea set is derived from eighteenth-century Rococo prototypes, but the amazing variety of flora and fauna that encrust it is typical of the creativity of nineteenth-century eclectic design. The finials on the teapot and sugar bowl, in the form of heads of an Asian male and black sugarcane picker, respectively, will strike many modern viewers as racist imagery, although the nineteenth-century consumer of such porcelain would have considered them benign and, along with the goat's head on the handle of the creamer, clever iconographic shorthand that symbolized the contents of each vessel.

MEDIUM Porcelain
DATES 1876
DIMENSIONS 2 3/8 x 5 x 5 in. (6 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS Painted in red on bottom over glaze: "U.P.W." with "S" below
SIGNATURE no signature
INSCRIPTIONS no inscriptions
COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
ACCESSION NUMBER 68.87.29a-b
CREDIT LINE Gift of Franklin Chace
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Union Porcelain Works (1863-ca. 1922). Cup and Saucer, 1876. Porcelain, 2 3/8 x 5 x 5 in. (6 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Franklin Chace, 68.87.29a-b. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE group, 68.87.29a-b_68.87.30a-b_68.87.31_68.87.32a-b_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Cup and saucer, part of a tête-à-tête tea set (68.87.28-.32), hard paste porcelain, henna ground with all-over floral design, white panels with scenes of birds, animals and flowers. Condition: Good, conservation report on file
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (88%)
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