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470. Trembleuse

China, Qianlong period (1736-1795)
Ø:18.3 cm

Provenance: - Purchased from Vanderven & Vanderven, at the Delft Fair 1985
- Mrs. H. de Gruyter – Vehmeijer Collection, The Netherlands 1985
- Mr. P. de Gruyter Collection, Belgium 2016

This sturdily potted trembleuse, is densely decorated in thick famille rose (fencai) enamels on the biscuit. The design around the central cup is of a cockerel standing on rockwork amongst peonies. On the inside of the cup is a bowl with peonies and a diaper border. The wide saucer has a six-lobed panel, filled with flowers and foliage on a turquoise diaper ground. It is surrounded by flowers on a white ground. The broad upstanding rim has two decorative bands – one pink with geometric design, the other a turquoise diaper border with blue reserves. The thinly glazed underside, has a flower pattern in black – this is possibly the outline for enameling which was never executed.
These wide-rimmed cup-holders, are known as a Tasse Trembleuse or Mancerina, designed for people suffering from the trembles. The low cup in the centre of the plate, forms a holder in which a drinking cup could firmly rest, preventing it sliding off the saucer and avert the spilling of hot liquid.
There earliest known saucer of this shape, was of pottery and known as a Mancerina. It is said to have been conceived by a Spanish grandee in Mexico: Pedro de Toledo, Marquis of Mancera. He reputedly developed it, after an elderly guest spilled her drink, because the traditional chocolate cups were difficult to handle. The other theory is, that the Marquis himself was afflicted with palsy, and developed the mancerina to enable him to enjoy his drinking chocolate without spillage.
This shape later became popular in France, where it is known as a trembleuse. They were mostly produced in Europe, most famously by the manufactory at Saint Cloud (France), Chelsea (England) and Meissen (Germany). More rarely they were ordered as export ware from China, and brought to Europe as a luxury item.
This trembleuse was bought from Vanderven in 1985 at the Delft Antique Fair in 1985.

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