Coffee cup and saucer

about 1740
Made at Meissen Manufactory (Germany)

Object Place: Europe, Germany


6.8 x 8.7 cm (2 11/16 x 3 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View





The thrown cup has an everted rim and a scrolled, ear-shaped handle. It is painted with a yellow ground on which are two shaped reserves outlined in gold. Both reserves contain harbor scenes in which figures in oriental dress are seen standing among bales of merchandise. Darkly shaded rocks are painted in the foreground, with patches of green and yellow grass beyond. In both scenes, ships are moored in the middle distance, and in the far distance buildings in oriental style are visible in the craggy landscape, painted in puce. The lightly clouded sky is painted in blue with small patches of orange. A gold band encircles the foot, and the details of the handle are picked out in gold. The interior rim is decorated with a scrolling band in gold enclosing alternately striped and dotted areas. A similar gilt band is painted on the interior rim of the saucer. In the center of the saucer an elaborate framework, composed of scrolls painted in puce, iron-red, and gold, with areas of pale Böttger luster, encloses a shaped quatrefoil panel containing a harbor scene. In the foreground is a barrel painted in black and a rocky outcrop in brown; farther back to the right is a large palm tree. Standing beyond on a yellow and green patch of land are several figures in exotic dress conversing or loading bales of merchandise onto a camel. The yellow and brown striped sail of a ship is seen in the middle distance. Other ships are visible in the far distance, sailing past buildings set on a cliff The exterior of the saucer is painted with a yellow ground; a gold band encircles the foot ring.


(1) on base of cup, in underglaze blue: crossed swords; in gold: 4.
(2) on base of saucer, in underglaze blue: crossed swords; in gold: 4.
(3) on base of saucer, impressed: 63


Collection of Baroness Renée de Becker, Brussels, New York, Rome. Mr. and Mrs. Deane Johnson, Bel Air, California. December 9, 1972, sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York. By 1983, Rita and Frits Markus; 1983, gift of Rita and Frits Markus to the MFA.

Credit Line

Gift of Rita and Frits Markus