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Cup and case

  • Place of origin:

    West Yorkshire (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1692-1694 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Place, Francis (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Salt-glazed marbled stoneware, thrown and lathe-turned, with a tooled leather case

  • Credit Line:

    Transferred from the Museum of Practical Geology, Jermyn Street

  • Museum number:

    4762&A-1901

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

  • Public access description

    Object Type
    The 'capuchine' (so-called from its resemblence to a cloaked Capuchine monk) was developed in the late 17th century specifically for drinking the new coffee and chocolate. These popular cups were also made in red and brown stoneware as well as soft delftware - a material quite unsuited to hot drinks. But soon tough Chinese porcelain versions became available.

    Time
    The last quarter of the 17th century saw a great flowering of both the arts and the sciences, often combined together in talented individuals such as the prolific artist and engraver Francis Place. His independent discovery of the process of making salt-glazed stoneware in the 1690s, though not used commercially, was a significant achievement.

    Historical Associations
    After Francis Place's death, his experimental marbled stoneware capuchine and its box were exhibited at Ralph Thoresby's Museum in Leeds. Established as an interesting curio associated with a famous artist, it was then purchased by Horace Walpole for his collection at Strawberry Hill, and later acquired by Augustus Wollaton Franks (the great Director and benefactor of the British Museum) who donated it in 1869 to the Museum of Practical Geology. In 1901, the Museum of Practical Geology's collections were transferred to the V&A.

  • Physical description

    Cup of grey stoneware, streaked with black and brown; accompanied by a leather case with hinged cover and stamped borders and a label inscribed, probably in the handwriting of Sir Horace Walpole, 'Mr. Francis Place's China.' The lower part of the cup is rounded, and the upper part expands towards the rim; it has a grooved loop handle. The case in shaped to fit the cup and has two brass clasps.

  • Dimensions

    Diameter: 5.3 cm mouth, Diameter: 2.4 cm base

  • Object history note

    Made by Francis Place (died in 1728) of The King's Manor, York, perhaps at a glasshouse near Ferrybridge.

    Formerly in the collection of Sir Horace Walpole, at Strawberry Hill. Given by Sir A. Wollaston Franks KCG. Transferred from the Museum of Practical Geology, Jermyn Street.

  • Descriptive line

    Salt-glazed marbled stoneware cup called a 'Capuchine', with a leather case, made by Francis Place, West Yorkshire, 1692-1694

  • Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

    See Ceramics and Glass Object Information File for documents associated with this case: 1) label from Museum of Practical Geology; and 2) sheet with transcripts from entries on Francis Place from Walpole's Catalogue of Engravers, on Wortley Parish from Thoresby's Ducatus Leodiensis, and the entry for the cup from Walpole's museum catalogue.
    Snodin, Michael (ed.) Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill London and New Haven, 2009, cat.233, p.331.
    Exhibition: Made in York: Inventing & Enlightening the Georgian City; see eponymous catalogue, p.107

  • Labels and date

    British Galleries:
    Walpole acquired this cup from Ralph Thoresby's museum at Leeds. This is one of only four surviving pieces of stoneware made in the 1690s by Francis Place. Place was better known as a draughtsman, but he was also one of the first Englishmen to undertake experiments to find the secret of porcelain manufacture. [27/03/2003]

  • Collection code

    Ceramics Collection