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Cup and Saucer
Accession # 68.87.29a-b
Manufacturer Union Porcelain Works
Designer Karl L. H. Mueller
Title Cup and Saucer
Date 1876
Medium Porcelain
Dimensions 2 3/8 x 5 x 5 in. (6 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm)
Marks Painted in red on bottom over glaze: "U.P.W." with "S" below
Inscriptions no inscriptions
Signed no signature
Credit Line Gift of Franklin Chace
Location American Identities: Expanding Horizons
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

Curatorial Remarks:

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.