Recently, I was watching the British version of Antiques Roadshow and saw an example of a Trembleuse cup and saucer being appraised. I had never heard of these items and it fascinated me. Which prompted me to think that they would, perhaps, fascinate you, too, so I decided to share a few of these gorgeous pieces.
Trembleuse cups and saucers were specifically designed for a person who suffered from the trembles and were virtually “spillproof.” The example above was made by Royal Worcester and is marked with a date symbol for the year 1882. It is printed under the glaze in a beautiful rich blue and decorated with gold trim. The cup has a molded handle. Note both the deep inset of the saucer in which the cup firmly rests and the saucer’s very wide border, all of which was designed to avoid spilling of the hot liquid by a trembling hand.
|Copyright J. Paul Getty Museum
In the 1700s, this double-handled cup pictured above would probably have been used to serve coffee or hot chocolate. Following the Chinese and Japanese custom, Europeans in the 1700s usually drank tea from small handless bowls.
Cups made at the Du Paquier porcelain manufactory were tall, higher than they were wide, and could be unstable. For this reason, the factory developed a trembleuse (literally “trembling”) form, in which a raised ring or basket on the saucer held the cup in place and prevented spillage caused by a shaky hand.
|Copyright the Victoria and Albert Collection
|Circa 1775 Copyright The Lessing Photo Archive
|Royal Worcester 1878 – Copyright Trocadero.com
|19th century cranberry glass copyright Miller’s Antiques
It seems to me that a Trembleuse is exactly what poor Liz needed whenever she went for coffee at her neighbor, Hyacinth Bucket’s house! (That’s Bouquet) By the bye, the pair of cups and saucers on Antiques Roadshow were valued at five thousand pounds.