Teacup with holder and saucer

ARTIST / MAKER: Johann Jakob Adam (maker)
Meissen porcelain factory (manufacturer)
DATE: 1751-1753 (made)
PLACE: Germany (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain with overglaze enamels, cast silver

This type of cup, holder and saucer is known as a tassetrembleuse, or ‘trembling cup’. The raised ring, or basket on the saucer holds the cup in place and prevents spillages caused by a shaky hand. Created for sophisticated Parisians in the early 18th century, the trembleuse was designed as an aid for safely drinking hot beverages such as tea, coffee or chocolate. The lack of handle on this cup indicates that it was designed for tea-drinking, as handles are usually found on coffee and chocolate cups. Trembleuses were made at the French porcelain factory of Saint-Cloud, which is credited with creating the form, but these were later produced in hard-paste porcelain with finer and more detailed ornament at Meissen, Vienna, and other established manufactories. This trembleuse was made by the silversmith Johann Jakob Adam, while the porcelain cup was made at the Meissen factory.