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Cup and Saucer

Decorative Arts and Design

On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Nations Divided, 1860–1910
The motifs on this tea set are representations of race from the nineteenth century, a time when stereotypical racial images circulated heavily in popular culture and were rarely questioned.

The imagery was intended to symbolize the labor required for the contents of each vessel, including an enslaved African sugarcane picker for the sugar bowl, an Asian man for the teapot, and a goat for the cream pitcher. These objects speak to the exploitative nature of the relationship between white Americans and African descendants and Asian peoples under colonial regimes.
MEDIUM Porcelain
DATES 1876
DIMENSIONS 2 3/8 x 5 x 5 in. (6 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS Painted in red on bottom over glaze: "U.P.W." with "S" below
SIGNATURE no signature
INSCRIPTIONS no inscriptions
CREDIT LINE Gift of Franklin Chace
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Cup and saucer, part of a tête-à-tête tea set (68.87.28-.32), hard paste porcelain, henna ground with all-over floral design, white panels with scenes of birds, animals and flowers. Condition: Good, conservation report on file
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Nations Divided, 1860–1910
CAPTION Union Porcelain Works (1863-ca. 1922). Cup and Saucer, 1876. Porcelain, 2 3/8 x 5 x 5 in. (6 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Franklin Chace, 68.87.29a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 68.87.29a-b_68.87.30a-b_68.87.31_68.87.32a-b_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE group, 68.87.29a-b_68.87.30a-b_68.87.31_68.87.32a-b_SL1.jpg.
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