about 1756–57
Made at Worcester Manufactory (England)

Object Place: Europe, England


12.4 x 14.3 cm (4 7/8 x 5 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Soft-paste porcelain decorated in polychrome enamels

On View

Charles C. Cunningham Gallery (Gallery 247)





The cylindrical mug was thrown on the wheel and turned to achieve this form, which flares slightly at the lip and at the base. The applied strap handle curves away from the body at the lower attachment. The base has been turned to produce a foot ring one centimeter wide, which is free of glaze. The glaze is slightly bluish, which somewhat decreases the translucency, the paste is a celadon green by transmitted light. The rim has warped in the bring, pulling toward the handle.
The painting, in the Japanese Kakiemon style, consists of a phoenix, or ho-ho bird, with a red crest and a long red tail, a puce back, blue wings, and a yellow head and breast, perched on a bright turquoise rock surrounded by scrolling branches with red and yellow peonies, green leaves, and two blue quatrefoils. The design is rendered with fine details: the feathered edges of the tail, the shading of the breast, the very individual eye, the red moss growing from the rock, and the subtle black shading of the rock. The wing-like spreading of the base of the rock is very crisp and fluid. There are two delicate insects at the left of the design, which spreads almost to the handle on both sides. The patches of red and green dots are typical Kakiemon motifs.


Dr. and Mrs. Hugh Statham. October 16, 1956, sold, Sotheby & Co., London. New York. Rita and Frits Markus; 1983, gift of Rita and Frits Markus to the MFA.

Credit Line

Gift of Rita and Frits Markus