Pater Gratia Oriental Art

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Chine de commande - Western Subjects 1680-1800 - Various Subjects - Various


Object 2011523


Teacup and saucer






Height of teacup 44 mm (1.73 inch), diameter of rim 75 mm (2.95 inch), diameter of footring 35 mm (1.37 inch), weight 52 grams (1.83 ounce (oz.))

Height of saucer 29 mm (1.14 inch), diameter of rim 121 mm (4.76 inch), diameter of footring 72 mm (2.83 inch), weight 93 grams (3.28 ounce (oz.))


Teacup and saucer on footrings with moulded walls in the shape of lotus leaves and lobed rims. Decorated in two shades of underglaze blue, various overglaze enamels and gold with the so-called 'tobacco leaf' design with veined broad leaves intermingled with flowers, sprouting from a stem; the upper section is left free, except for a single slender flower spray. On the reverse rim two flower heads and half a flower head. The teacup is decorated en suite.


The term 'tobacco leaf' is widely used now, but in fact it is not the tobacco plant that is depicted here. However the leaves are possibly not those of the tobacco plant, but are as likely to be derived, possibly with some help from a European or Indian textile designer, from the 'thick tropical, variegated-leaf foliage of Southern Asia and the Pacific' while the blossoms almost certainly are hibiscus and passion fruit. Others suggest it might be anona or custard-apple. The heavy, colourful and decorative pattern, made well into the 19th century, appealed to the European public. The several varieties (at least five principal variants of the 'tobacco leaf' motif are known which include birds and figures among the leaves) enjoyed great popularity and were copied on European ceramics as well. (Howard & Ayers 1978, vol. 2, p.542, Jörg 1989/2, pp.104-105, cat. 30, Howard 1994, p.184, cat. 211, Litzenburg 2003, p.225, cat. 231)


For identically decorated objects, please see: 

Condition saucer: Two fleabites to the footring, three frits to the rim and an X-shaped hairline to the base.

Condition teacup: A frit with a Y-shaped hairline. three separate hairlines and a chip to the rim.



Gordon 1977, Plate VIII

Howard & Ayers 1978, vol. 2, cat. 557

Boulay 1984, p. 279, cat. 3

Jörg 1989/2, cat. 30 

Howard 1994, cat. 211

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.271, cat. 315

Litzenburg 2003, cat.  231

Sargent 2012, p.151, cat. 57


Price: Sold.


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