Cup and saucer

about 1740
Made at Meissen Manufactory (Germany)

Object Place: Europe, Germany


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

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Hard-paste porcelain with yellow ground, decorated in polychrome enamels

On View

Charles C. Cunningham Gallery (Gallery 247)





The coffee service includes a coffeepot, hot milk jug, sugar basin , and six cups and saucers. The octagonal, pear-shaped coffeepot, made from a two-part mold, has a domed octagonal cover and a wishbone handle. The flared spout has an elongated heart-shaped opening. The smaller hot milk jug is of the same form as the coffeepot; only its spout differs in having a simple triangular opening. The octagonal sugar basin rests on a flat, unglazed base and has a slightly domed octagonal cover surmounted by an octagonal finial similar to that on the cover of the coffeepot and of the milk jug. The cups are also octagonal, and each is fitted with an ear-shaped handle. The saucers are octagonal. All the pieces in the service are painted with a pale yellow ground color, but the degree of saturation varies; the ground of the coffeepot is the palest. The rims of each piece are painted in brown, and black has been used to outline the shaped reserves on the two pots, the sugar basin, and five of the six cups. The painted decoration in the reserves and in the interiors of the saucers includes a hawk-like bird and flowers painted in the Kakiemon style. The bird is painted in puce, black, turquoise, and yellow; it picks at a bunch of blue grapes growing from a vine that springs from a brown rock formation. The flowers are painted in iron-red, blue, and puce, and their foliage is turquoise and green. The handles of the coffeepot and the milk jug have details picked out in purple, and the spouts of each are decorated with two iron-red flowers with green leaves. The finials of the three covers have iron-red markings. A motif recalling bellflowers is painted in iron-red on the handles of five of the six cups. One cup and saucer (36d,c) are noticeably different from the others: the saucer is deeper, the reserves are outlined in puce rather than black, and the painted decoration is clearly by a hand other than that responsible for the painting found elsewhere on the service.


(1) on base, in underglaze blue: crossed swords
(2) inside foot ring, incised: two parallel lines

Credit Line

Gift of Rita and Frits Markus