Cup and saucer

about 1740
Made at Meissen Manufactory (Germany)

Object Place: Europe, Germany


4.1 x 9.5 cm (1 5/8 x 3 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Hard-paste porcelain with colored enamel and gilded decoration

Not On View





The cup is hemispherical in shape and has an ear-shaped handle. It has a white ground decorated with two vignettes of men, women, and children in exotic dress, engaged in various activities. To the left of the handle, a seated figure in an iron-red robe with green sleeves offers a bowl, from which
steam rises, to a standing figure who wears a gray, patterned robe. Nearby, a figure in a puce and brown robe accompanies a small child who gestures toward the other two figures. A man carrying a folded parasol offers a small gold object in the direction of the child. A flowering bush separates this group from the second vignette, which includes a woman in an iron-red robe on her knees, blowing on a concealed fire that heats a large steaming kettle. A child in blue looks on. Next to him a standing figure in a brown, puce, and iron-red robe swings a censer. To the left a man dressed in iron-red, bowing from the waist, carries a banner. Insects painted in black fly above the figures. The ground on which the figures stand is painted brown and green. Two parallel iron-red lines are painted along the bottom of the scenes. A gilt band encircles the foot ring, and the handle is decorated with gilt lines, dots, and a trellised lozenge. The rim of the cup is gilded, and a spray of flowers in iron-red, green, and yellow is painted inside the cup. The saucer is decorated with a large, circular scene enclosed by two parallel iron-red lines. A figure in a puce robe, smoking a pipe, sits in front of a tall pedestal on which are placed two large vessels, one blue, one yellow. He rests his left elbow on a round table, which is draped with a cloth and bears two vessels. The central figure, who wears an iron-red robe, offers the seated figure a tray on which a small cat or dog stands. Directly below is a basket of oranges. A child in a puce robe carrying a banner stands on the left. Insects and a bird painted in brown, iron-red, yellow, and puce fly above. Three sprigs of flowers in yellow, blue, green, and iron-red on puce stems decorate the area outside the central scene. Three larger sprays of flowers in the same palette are painted on the exterior of the saucer. The rim is gilded, and a gilt band encircles the foot ring.


(1) on base of cup, in underglaze blue: crossed swords
(2) inside foot ring of cup, impressed: 2
(3)on base of saucer, in underglaze blue: crossed swords
(4) inside foot ring of saucer, impressed: two six-rayed stars

Credit Line

Gift of Rita and Frits Markus