18th c. Chinese Export teacup and saucer OWNED AND USED by Second President of the United States JOHN ADAMS and family, with exceptional provenance. Hard-paste porcelain with overglaze enamel decoration, hand-painted with red-orange and gilt floral sprigs and sprays, and housed in conservation-grade acrylic display case.It's remarkable to consider that this could have been in Adams' possession at the time of the Boston Tea Party, making this piece incredibly historic.PROVENANCE:Attached to the bottom of the saucer is a label which reads "This cup and saucer belonged to John Adams Given to Helen H. Slade Dec. 25th 1897 by Marc [illegible]."Both the cup and saucer have been previously auctioned by both HERITAGE AUCTIONS and UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES, two of the industry's most respected antiques and auction houses. The label and its statement are corroberated by the age of the pieces, and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity from University Archives.HISTORY:John Adams, along with fellow Founding Fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, owned and loved Chinese Export porcelain. These durable and aesthetically pleasing ceramics were manufactured in China and sold abroad to European and American consumers. This teacup is contemporary with John Adams's taste for red-decorated white ground porcelain. Floral patterns like this one were equally popular in England and America.Prior to the American Revolution, Chinese Export porcelain could only be obtained through European agents like the British East India Company. There was no direct American trade with China until 1784, thus china, along with other imported British products, took on political dimensions prior to the American Revolution. Only the elite in society such as lawyers like John Adams would've been able to afford and acquire porcelain prior to the revolution.John Adams, a known tea and coffee drinker, could have drunk either stimulant from this delicate teacup. Other similar examples of Adams Family tea service accoutrements can be found in the collection of the Winterthur Museum (Winterthur, Delaware) and at the Adams National Historic Site (Quincy, Massachusetts).PROVENANCE:The handleless teacup measures 2.25" high, with a 3.5" diameter. Teacup is accompanied by matching 5.5" saucer. Hairline extends from the rim near one of the floral sprays, else in very good to near fine condition. The saucer is in exceptional condition.SIGNATURIST-INK is the trusted dealer of many museums, libraries and historical collections having helped procure documents and artifacts for the likes of THE FRED W. SMITH NATIONAL LIBRARY FOR THE STUDY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON at Mount Vernon, the WILLIAM McKINLEY PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY & MUSEUM, and the JOHN MARSHALL HOUSE Museum.Museum quality artifacts from the life of the Founding Fathers, including John Adams are exceedingly scarce, and seldom available on the open market. Don't miss this rare, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own an original investment-quality heirloom antique from one of our country's most revered icons and legendary leaders.Sold as is, as shown.
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