Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Ceramics, Room 139, The Curtain Foundation Gallery

Cup and Saucer

ca. 1862 (made)
Place of origin

Cup and saucer of hard-paste 'egg-shell' porcelain painted with enamels and gilded.

Object details

Object type
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Cups
  • Saucer
Materials and techniques
Hard-paste porcelain painted with enamels and gilded
Brief description
Cup and saucer of hard-paste porcelain, Doccia porcelain factory, Doccia,ca. 1862.
Physical description
Cup and saucer of hard-paste 'egg-shell' porcelain painted with enamels and gilded.
Marks and inscriptions
A six-pointed star (In gold)
Gallery label
Cup and Saucer Porcelain Mark: a six-pointed star, in gold ITALY (DOCCIA); middle of 19th century C.52 & A-1953 (Label draft attributed to John V. G. Mallet, ca. 1995)(ca. 1995)
Subjects depicted
Bibliographic reference
Frescobaldi Malenchini, Livia ed. With Balleri, Rita and Rucellai, Oliva, ‘Amici di Doccia Quaderni, Numero VII, 2013, The Victoria and Albert Museum Collection’, Edizioni Polistampa, Firenze, 2014 pp. 89-90, Cat.72 72. Cup and saucer with Chinese figures circa 1862 egg-shell porcelain with overglaze painting in colours cup h 6,3 cm; saucer diam. 12,4 cm under the cup a gold star inv. C.52&A-1953 gift: anonymous donor Bibliography: unpublished In 1861theGinori factory received an award for their egg-shell porcelain displayed at the National Exhibition in Florence (GINORILISCI 1963, p. 116, 146 and ESPOSIZIONE ITALIANA 1861, p. 287) and in 1862, among the objects that were sent to the London Exhibition, they listed cups described as “exquisitely thin with blue flowers in relief decorated with gold” and “Chinese figures” (AMD, arm. 1, palch. 3, cart. 153, Nota degli oggetti spediti dalla Manifattura Ginori di Doccia […] Londra) which correspond to the types shown here. Since they do not appear in the lists of objects sent to the 1854 Exhibition in Florence, nor in those sent to Paris in 1855 and 1867, it is likely that these cups were made around 1862. Similar objects with the same mark are in the Museo di Doccia (inv. 1224- 1225, 1227-1228, 1231-1232, 1249-1252) as well as a tête-à-tête coffee set with gold decorations in relief (inv. 1253-1260, CEFARIELLO GROSSO 1988, p. 90, fig. 100). Four cups of the same type with chinoiserie decorations are also published in MORAZZONI, LÉVI 1960, plate 230. Egg-shell porcelain was a novelty then in fashion at various European manufacturers (FAŸ-HALLÉ, MUNDT 1983, p. 169, 179). It was made by casting in plaster moulds, a technique that at the time was usually used only for display objects, like the porcelain tablets used for reproductions of famous paintings (MESLIN-PERRIER, SEGONDSPERRIER 2002, p. 179). The figures and the other elements of the Chinoiserie decorations are based on the coloured engravings in a miscellaneous album of prints which is in the library of the Museo di Doccia (inv. 203). In the same album there are engravings by Jean Baptiste Pillement and others taken from various collections including The Ladies amusement; or, Whole art of japanning made easy…drawn by Pillement and other masters, published in London by Robert Sayer in three editions between 1760 and 1775. The cup (cat. 71) is of particular interest because it is signed “Giusti”, to the right of the figure of the fisherman at the edge of the lawn. In the 18th and 19th centuries Ginori porcelains were very rarely signed by the artist who had decorated them. In this case the artist might be Enrico Giusti, son of Francesco Giusti (see cat. 122) who, in1855, the year his father died, was attending the Fine Arts Academy in Florence using a scholar ship from the Ginori factory and, in 1858 at the age of 21, appears in documents for the first time as an apprentice porcelain painter (AMD, arm. 1, palch. 1, cart. 21, ins. 1Ordini e disposizioni dal 1853 al 1855, doc. 1105 and ins. 4Disposizioni e proposizioni […] 1854-1858, doc. 943). His name is later mentioned in documents up until 1896 (AMD, arm 3, palch. 2, Ruolo del personale 1883-1896) as a painter of artistic porcelain who was paid “a fattura” or by the piece. O.R.
Accession number

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest feedback

Record createdJune 24, 2009
Record URL
Download as: JSONIIIF Manifest