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Lustreware is a type of porcelain with a metallic glaze which creates an iridescent effect. It was first developed in Iraq, and was first produced for the royal courts. This cup and saucer was made by the Japanese company, Nippon Yoko Boeki Co., which continues to operate. The distinguishing mark on the bottom is a wreath with a bow at the bottom and a clover, with “Japan” printed in black. This particular clover mark was used from 1891, but it would appear that this particular cup dates closer to the late 1910’s to 1920’s.

This teacup has a full o-ring handle, but with an additional semi-circle on top, which is an uncommon feature. In fact, I could not find any like in my research on tea cup handles.

It is a pedestal-footed tea cup. Tea cup styles matched the times, and designers were always looking for new ways to help sophisticated tea drinkers impress their guests and create “conversation pieces”. One way to do this was to add to the height to a delicate teacup, and a pedestal was an easy and stable way to do so.  It’s hard to see in my photo, but this is actually a larger tea cup than most in my mother’s cupboards.

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If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.
― William Ewart Gladstone

Happy Monday!