Subject:19th century Chinese blanks, could someone explain?
Posted By: Endre Thu, Dec 14, 2017 IP: 2600:1700:6a40:2460:
I recently came by a cup on Etsy, by searching for rose medallion cup. I’m not going to post the link, but it should be easy to find. I noticed that it looks exactly like one of my shaving mugs- other than the pattern. It also appears to be the same shape-handle,rim, and foot as documented canton pieces in known collections. These cups I see have no mark at the base. I think the mug I have always presumed German, may actually be a Chinese blank decorated in USA. I understand this activity was very popular in the 19th century. Shaving mugs I believe were mostly produced between 1870-1920. These may be ignorant or novice questions, but I would like to know a little more about Chinese blanks, if anyone would be able to explain. I did find a little information, as follows:
From notions and fancy goods, volume 43 (1909), speaking about safety razors. “New ideas in shaving mugs..... manufacturers and importers of fancy goods have not been slowin perceiving the possibilities s new development, and have spent considerable time and money in designing new and original patterns.....made not only for show, but for practical use, and will make good articles for Christmas and holiday presents. A new line of porcelain mugs which are decorated with the insignia in colors of almost every known society or fraternal order... some of the new ornamental porcelain mugs are beautifully decorated with gold in Doulton, and other effects, which are exceedingly beautiful and artistic”
I know some fraternal organizations have emblems on Canton porcelain going back quite some time. Were these mugs which the previous quote describes, imported as well-from China? I have no idea about trade relations between European countries in the times leading up to the First World War.
I found a little more info at, the wise collector .com
“The shapes of Chinese export plates, pitchers, and other items were taken from European silver. Blanks were taken from inland potteries to be decorated in Canton... As was typical of Victorian taste, nearly every use possible was answered in shape or piece in Chinese export porcelain. Garden seats, shaving mugs, baby plates, cider jugs, tea sets, coffee sets, toothbrush holders, punch bowls, paintbrush boxes, candlesticks, syllabus cups, ginger jars, egg cups, and platters are just a few that can be found”
So, I have a couple of questions if you may be so kind. Are some of my presumably German shaving mugs, etc. actually blanks from China, decorated right here? I appreciate it as always, for any information whatsoever you could share