Dragonware

Pattern: Black Dragonware
Maker: Unknown
Pattern Number:
Country of Origin: Japan
Manufacturer Status: Active
Approximate date: Late 1800’s to present
Description: Black/White moriage
Date purchased: January 2015 / 20 September 2015
Purchase price: $5 / $18.14
Purchased: Antique store/ Ebay

Dragonware is almost entirely Japanese and was made by many different companies. It is pottery or porcelain that usually has a raised moriage dragon on it, usually surrounded by wisps of smoke. The technique used to apply the moriage decoration to them is called slipwork. Dragonware originally was made by Nippon in the late 1800’s, and is still being made today. The original Nippon pieces have extremely ornate and very detailed large dragons, that wrap around most of the piece. They usually have lots of enamel work around the edges of the item. They also originally had glass beads for the dragon’s eyes, rather than the typical slipwork ones. Pieces that have enamel work around the edges, are typically older than pieces that do not. Some of the teacups will have a lithophane inside the bottom of them. This is a raised design, usually of a woman’s face or full body, known as a Geisha. It can be seen clearly when held up to the light. The Geisha adds value to a teacup, with the nude Geisha being harder to find and the most valuable.

That having been scooped from the interwebs, OUR dragonware tea cup has feet (which might give an approximate date… if I could find out when feet on teacups became a thing) and is lined in peach luster- no geishas here. The plate (which we got first) doesn’t really match the cup and saucer but we just had to have this cup and they go well enough!

Emily calls it “Bill” after Bill Kaulitz.