Chinese Coffee Cup with incised anhua decoration, painted in London with insects and flowers, c.1750-60


This Chinese coffee cup is moulded with incised (anhua) overlapping lotus leaves, the slightly bulbous body and flared lip giving it an almost capuchine-style profile.

The exterior is finely painted with flowers and sprigs, including a thorny pink rose and anemone. These flowers are interspersed with brightly coloured butterflies, their patterned wings outstretched, and other insects, including beetles and woodlice. The interior base is also painted with a butterfly. This enamel painting, including the chocolate line rim, was added in London in the mid-18th Century, shortly after its arrival in England.

Provenance: Jill McNeile, a collector with an excellent eye and a penchant for Giles decorated Chinese porcelain.

Condition: Excellent - no damage or restoration. There is a glazed clay tear in the upper handle terminal, which neither goes through nor encircles the handle. There are also pinhole potting and firing flaws visible to the interior. The painted decoration is exquisite and the anhua incised lotus moulding just delightful.

Dimensions: Height 6.7 cm

Ref. For a similar cup, see Early James Giles, 2008, cat. 70.

The Early James Giles and his Contemporary London Decorators, Stephen Hanscombe (Stockspring Antiques Publications, 2008).

European Decoration on Oriental Porcelain, 1700-1830, Helen Espir (Jorge Welsh Books, 2005).

The Watney Collection of Chinese Porcelain Decorated in Holland and England (Bonhams, 2003).


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