Brilliant porcelain across the Pacific Ocean – Old Noritake: Beauty Bridging East & West

Nov 18, 2021 - Dec 29, 2021

Old Noritake

Cup and Saucer with Chrysanthemum Design and Moustache Guard

cup Φ4.13, saucer Φ6.42, h2.48 in


About the work

[Inscription] Created by Hyōchien 

[Year of Manufacture] Meiji Era


Much like Plate with Quails, this cup and saucer were also made by Hyōchien while it was still based in Tokyo. However, this particular cup and saucer were made somewhat later than Plate with Quails, following its total commitment to export activities. Thus, these pieces appear to have been produced with export sales clearly in mind. Regarding the cup, a small, flat shelf can be seen forming a semicircle beneath its rim. This idea is thought to have originated with the mustache guard plates used by European barbershops for shaving. It is said that this sort of cup and saucer began to be exported to Europe by the Dutch East India Company beginning around the late 17th century, and that the design was developed to prevent full mustaches, popular at the time, from becoming an encumbrance when drinking coffee or tea.

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