Mochaware Mug with Mocha “Trees” & Inscribed “E-R” under a Crown and “19__” .


This style of mochaware mug was among the most popular throughout the 19th century. The mug is decorated with blue and beige bands of slip and further decorated with an all-around design of mocha “trees” On the front of the mug just above the base is a small inscription “E-R” under a crown and “19__”. The date is left unfinished. I believe the mug was made by a Staffordshire factory in 1936. In that year, King Edward VIII (Edward Regis or “E R”) began to talk of abdication to marry Wallis Simpson even before he was crowned King. If the mug were made during the coronation year when the makers did not know if Edward would be crowned King or soon abdicate, this could account for the unfinished date. The underside of the mug has a plastic label, which seems to be a museum catalog number.

Dimensions: 3.5″ diameter x 5″ tall

Condition: Excellent

In stock

Background of Mocha “Trees”

In his book Mocha and related dipped wares, 1770-1939, Jonathan Rickard states, “The most recognizable type of mocha decoration is the tree.” The tree-like pattern results from a dynamic process in which the contact line between two liquids, the acidic dark brown coloring, and the alkaline slip becomes unstable. The acid or base chemical reaction drives the instability. Rickard explains the process: Instead of leaving the pot on the lathe, the turner removed the pot and carefully held it bottom-up. Then he dipped his brush into the dark brown acidic concoction and touched the brush just outside the bottom edge of the broadest slip band. After that, the brown coloring ran quickly downwards while spreading its branches.

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