Cup and saucer

ARTIST / MAKER: Imperial Vienna Porcelain Factory (manufacturer)
DATE: 1807 (made)
PLACE: Austria (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain painted in enamels and gilt

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 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.

The painted scene on this cup depicts a view of the ‘Hermitage in Laxenburg Park’ in Austria, just outside of Vienna. It is based on a composition from ca.1790: a coloured engraving by Slovenian born, Austrian landscape artist Laurenz Janscha (1749-1812). The saucer is decorated with a roundel featuring a pink urn set amongst a green landscape. Above, the words ‘Bis Dahin’, ‘Until then’, are inscribed.