Set of Four Porcelain Chikaramachi Teacups & Saucers - Handpainted Blue & Gold - Circa 1928-1945
From the hands of students comes this exquisite collection...
This set of four beautiful teacups has a very interesting history. Stamped with the red laurel leaf and crown mark of Chikaramachi, this collection was handpainted in Japan between 1928-1945. In the early part of the 20th century, Chikaramchi was the apprenticeship program for Noritake China which gave the parent company a place to test new designs and gave artisans a chance to cultivate their skills. When the Chikaramachi factory was burned to the ground in 1945 almost all the patterns, records, and design ideas for this program were lost to the fire. That makes these porcelain teacups a bit of a rarity. While the quality and craftsmanship of the porcelain made under the Chikaramachi program was not quite parallel (due to inexperience) to the exquisite detail that Noritake is famous for, the china produced by these budding artisans is an intimate look at china manufacturing as a skilled industry. Pieces produced in the program blatantly hint at the level of experience of each designer, telling the story not only of artistic merit but also depicting the subtle transitions from novice to master craftsman.
In the case of these four delicate teacups, the handpainted detailing is flawless and beautifully executed. A sky blue band nestled between stripes of gold with gold lace embellishment perfectly matches the elegant weight of each piece. The porcelain construction of the cups is almost perfect... thin, transparent and light-weight... yet two of the cups bear some minor flaws. The artists who handmade these four were still mastering the techniques that hopefully, eventually, would earn them coveted spots in the prestigious Noritake factory. A few minor flaws (read more about these in the condition section) make this set not quite perfect, but even in this condition, they are still some of most beautiful teacups we have ever come across in the Vintage Kitchen.
- Matching set of 4 teacups with saucers
- Sky blue stripes with gold lace patterns and gold stripes
- Made of exquisitely delicate porcelain
- Each cup and saucer is marked with the Chikaramchi backstamp
The inside rim of one of the teacups bears some signs of student work in the form of a not quite smooth ring that left a flaky looking ring after firing. The porcelain is not flaking in any way and it is perfectly safe to drink from this cup without worry, it is just a blemish more than anything else. Please see photo. On the inside rim of another teacup, there is a 1/8th" inch crack that darkened in color over time. This crack does not bleed through to the outside and does affect the use of this cup in any way. Other than that. This set is flaw free with no chips, cracks or crazing.
Each cup measures 3.5" inches (diameter) x 2.25"inches (height). Each saucer measures 5.5" inches (diameter).
Classicly elegant, these cups match just about any sort of style but look especially stylish with nautical decor due to their color and boho decor due to their lacy pattern.