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Cup and saucer

Cup and saucer

  • Place of origin:

    Stoke-on-Trent (made)

  • Date:

    1897 (made)
    1869 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Minton (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bone china, transfer-printed, with enamel painting and gilding

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 125b, case 2 []

Object Type
This cup and saucer are part of a relatively expensive service made of Minton's very high-quality bone china and are skilfully painted.

Design & Designing
The painting of ferns and of fresh country flowers is in an apparently innocently naturalistic manner but in fact owes much to an awareness of Japanese art. Although the painting of flowers and insects had been highly fashionable in Britian in the 18th century, it became popular again with the influx of Japanese art and artefacts from the mid-1860s onwards. British artists and designers were encouraged to invent new versions of natural, asymmetrical and informal decoration, often using insects and wild flowers.

Social Class
Tablewares were an essential part of Minton's production throughout the 19th century and contributed significantly to the company's stability. Ironstones, semi-porcelains, bone chinas and earthenwares were produced in vast quantities, reflecting the various styles in current use in the factory. Minton's bone china was recognised to be of exquisite quality and in the later 19th century the company established its reputation as a supplier of special services to the royal and aristocratic families of Europe. This quality was maintained throughout the bone china production, even if, as here, the decoration was rather less extravagant or the gilding less rich.

Place of Origin

Stoke-on-Trent (made)


1897 (made)
1869 (designed)


Minton (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Bone china, transfer-printed, with enamel painting and gilding

Marks and inscriptions

Design registration mark for 1869 and date mark for 1897

Object history note

Manufactured by Minton & Co., Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

Descriptive line

Teacup and saucer

Labels and date

British Galleries:
The butterfly handle of this teacup looks very impractical. Although the design may have been intended for a display cabinet rather than for day-to-day use, it was shown in trade catalogues by Minton and other manufacturers as part of tea or breakfast services. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

Design registered in 1869


Ceramics; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares; British Galleries


Ceramics Collection

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