Coffee Cup and Saucer thumbnail 1
Coffee Cup and Saucer thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Ceramics, Room 139, The Curtain Foundation Gallery

Coffee Cup and Saucer

ca. 1820-1830 (made)
Place of origin

Coffee cup and saucer of hard-paste porcelain. Painted with enamels and gilded, with views of Florence and Naples.

Object details

Object type
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Coffee Cup
  • Saucer
Materials and techniques
Hard-paste porcelain painted with enamels and gilded
Brief description
Coffee cup and saucer of hard-paste porcelain painted with enamels, Doccia porcelain factory, Doccia, ca.1820-1830
Physical description
Coffee cup and saucer of hard-paste porcelain. Painted with enamels and gilded, with views of Florence and Naples.
Marks and inscriptions
A six-pointed star (In gold)
Gallery label
Coffee Cup and Saucer Porcelain Marks: a six-pointed star, in gold; "O" on the cup, a star on the saucer, both impressed Painted with views of Florence and Naples ITALY (DOCCIA); about 1790-1800 J. C. Joicey Bequest C.1720 & A-1919 (Label draft attributed to John V. G. Mallet, ca. 1995)(ca. 1995)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Mr John George Joicey
Subjects depicted
Places 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. 120-121, Cat. 113 113.Coffee cup and saucer decorated with landscape scenes circa 1820 hard-paste porcelain painted in colours and gold cup h 8 cm; saucer diam. 12,6 cm under the cup a gold star, an incised circle; “S. Giov:nino” and “Pal:zRiccardi” written in black under the saucer a gold star, an incised star; “Molo di Napoli” written in black inv. C.1720&A-1919 bequest: Mr John George Joicey In the archives of the Museo di Doccia there are fifteen volumes called the Registro del Magazzino della Fabbrica delle Porcellane, e Maiolica di Doccia, in which they registered all of the ceramics (porcelain, maiolica and cream ware) produced by the factory from 1812 to 1824.Although the Registro only covers a twelve year period, it represents a fundamental source of information concerning the activities of the factory. Because of the fact that they refer only to a brief period of time, the Registro is not always totally reliable for determining the introduction of new decorations, however, in the case of Ferdinando Ammannati we know that in 1812 he was assigned the task of decorating a set of tableware “with a blue band, to be painted with landscape scenes”, together with other decorations shown in cat. 106, 111, 112 (for information on the activity of Ammannati at Doccia, see cat. 111, 112). In the set with a blue band in the National Museum of Capodimonte (for more information on this service, see D. Clery, in LUSSO ED ELEGANZA 2013, p. 94-99, cat. 10), there is a glass-cooler with a view from the port of Vesuvius erupting that is very similar to the one on this saucer. It is probable that it reproduces one of the sketches and designs in the style of the Royal Factory which Ammannati had promised to bring to Marquis Carlo Leopoldo Ginori Lisci in 1807 (CASPRINI 2009, p. 53, note 24; see also BIANCALANA 2009, p. 21), although we know that in 1800 he had already sold some views of Naples to Doccia (BALLERI 2013, p. 60). The most interesting feature of the porcelain sets with these scenes is the accuracy with which they reproduce the most minute details of the monuments of the main Italian cities that were visited by travellers making the Grand Tour. In fact, with the manufacture of these objects “a vedute ” the Ginori factory was following the fashion for souvenirs which even included a written description of the monument on the back. These characteristics can be seen on the cup and saucer in the Victoria & Albert Museum. The saucer has a view of the city of Naples while the matching cup reproduces the facade of the Church of San Giovannino and part of Palazzo Medici Riccardi; this latter scene is a faithful imitaton of an engraving made by Giuseppe Zocchi for the first edition of Vedute di Firenze nel ’700 (ZOCCHI 1744, plate XIX) in 1774. From the Registro we know that in 1817Ammannati painted views of the city of Rome on cups and saucers (BALLERI 2013, p. 61). In 1822 and again 1823, Marquis Carlo Leopoldo commissioned the factory to make sets with views of Tuscany, including the cathedral in Florence. This latter is a faithful imitation of an engraving by Zocchi which belongs to the abovementioned volume. Around 1833- 1834 at Doccia they made another set of plates “a vedute”, this time with views of Italian cities. It is evident that the decoration with urban scenes was extremely popular at the factory in the 1820s and 1830s, as was the decoration with rural scenes “a paesini ”. Some of the sets mentioned above are in the Museo di Doccia (for information on these, see BALLERI 2013, p. 112-113, 244-249, cat. 14, 78); a stylistic comparison with some of the scenes on plates made about in 1822- 1823 suggests that this cup and saucer were also made in the 1820s. R.B. Bibliography: unpublished
Accession number

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
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