Cup and saucer

ARTIST / MAKER: Imperial Vienna Porcelain Factory (manufacturer)
DATE: 1811 (made)
PLACE: Austria (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain with enamels and gilding

Founded by Claude de Paquier in 1718, The Vienna Porcelain manufactory was the second in Europe after Meissen to produce hard-paste porcelain. In 1744, with the threat of financial collapse, it was bought by the Empress Maria Theresa and became an asset of the monarchy, continuing production until 1864. This ornately decorated tea cup and saucer was most likely produced as a cabinet cup, an item intended solely for ornamental purposes. Made to display their owner’s taste and wealth, they were considered pieces of art in their own right and collected for display from the late 18th century.

Decorated with a central reserve depicting a winged cupid standing on a cloud with gilded palmettes and arrows on the saucer and rim, this example caters for the neo-classical trend that was popular in the early 19th century.