Chocolate Cup

Made by Gerard, Dufraisseix & Cie., Limoges, France, 1890 - 1900

Geography:
Possibly made in Limoges, France, Europe

Period:
Victorian

Date:
1890-1900

Medium:
Hard paste porcelain, lead glaze, gilded decoration

Dimensions:
2 5/8 x 3 3/4 x 3 1/16 inches (6.7 x 9.5 x 7.8 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

* Gallery 106, American Art, first floor (McNeil Gallery)

Accession Number:
2006-3-203

Credit Line:
Gift of the McNeil Americana Collection, 2006

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Additional information:
  • PublicationAmerican Presidential China: The Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

    William Howard Taft (1857-1930)
    President, 1909-13

    Chocolate cups and saucers, manufactured by at least two firms in Limoges and decorated at an independent studio, were acquired after the Tafts returned to private life in 1913. Dr. Helen Taft Manning, daughter of President and Mrs. Taft and White House hostess during her mother’s recovery from a stroke, recalled that her mother had purchased the cups in Europe.1 The decoration on the cups consists of simple gold lines and floral sprigs.

    Mrs. Manning presented to the White House examples of three other services owned by the Tafts. One of the services, transfer-printed with an eighteenth-century Asiatic pheasant pattern, was made by G. L. Ashworth and Brothers of Hanley, Staffordshire, trading as “Mason’s Patent Ironstone,” about 1895. Inasmuch as this pattern was widely available, a Taft association for the plate in the McNeil Collection is uncertain. Susan Gray Detweiler, from American Presidential China: The Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2008), p. 74.

    Notes:
    1) Dr. Helen Taft Manning, conversation with the author, Haverford, Pennsylvania, 1975.


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