Mystery piece of china--can you help identify?

camlanApril 23, 2010

I inherited what I'm told is a hot chocolate set. All I know about it is that my grandmother handpainted it at some point in her high school years. There's a small pitcher and a few tiny cups and saucers. And then there's the mystery trough. No one can figure out what it was used for. It looks as though it might have held sugar cubes, but would sugar be added to hot chocolate separately?

Here's the set:

and here's the trough:

Any guesses as to what this might be or what it was used for?

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It's a sugar cube holder....tray...rack.
For holding sugar cubes to go with your tea.
Linda C

Here is a link that might be useful: sugar cube holder

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 5:01PM
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FWIW, way back when, hot chocolate wasn't nearly so sweet! So depending on her age, or how old-fashioned she was, the sugar trough would have made a lot of sense.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 6:48PM
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The Collector's Encyclopedia of Nippon Porcelain 3rd series calls it a Domino sugar tray. 6 1/2 in. long was 75cents for a plain one!!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 1:10AM
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If it was her grandmother who painted the china, chances are it was done no earlier than say 1910. In those days hot chocolate was very much like we have today but made with probably Droste's chocolate.
It's much more likely her grandmother decorated a demitasse set....or perhaps just bought and decorated a sugar tray because it was fun.
what's the mark on the bottom of the pot? Is it the same on the cups and saucers?
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 10:47AM
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Thank you all for your help. We suspected it was a tray for sugar cubes, but we also didn't know when sugar cubes came into existence, so we weren't sure.

Linda--Grandma initialed and dated some of the pieces--she painted them in 1919. She spent an extra year in high school, studying music and china painting, before she could go to college (the college wouldn't accept her until she was 18). She painted 20 place settings of china with her family coat of arms--bouillon cups, asparagus plates, soup tureens, ramekins--just about every piece of china you can think of. This chocolate set is in the same colors as the china, but only the cups and saucers are by the same manufacturer.

In addition, she did lots of little pieces, like salt and pepper shakers, a beautiful blue and gold demitasse set and this chocolate set.

The tray has no mark at all. The cups and saucers have Vignaud Limoges. The pitcher has an almost completely worn away mark--it's not Limoges, I don't think, but what it is isn't clear. It's an artist's palette, intersecting a circle with a script capital L (at least I think it's an L). Underneath, there is a word, but most of the letters have partly worn off. I think there are six or seven letters. The last letter is probably K.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 11:45AM
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It's likely all from some Limoges maker... They made a lot of plain china for decoration.
How lucky you are to have all that! Would love to see more pictures.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 12:01PM
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