A striking antique English porcelain coffee cup. Made at the Worcester factory during the Dr. Wall, or First Period, it is painted with the Pu Tai pattern in beautiful, bright enamels. It shows Pu-Tai, also known as the Laughing Buddha, seated, with two attendants. The cup has a slightly everted rim, a handle of the grooved loop type, and the interior border is gilded in addition to the iron red enamel.
The cup is 2 3/8" tall, with a top diameter of 2 1/8". Condition is superb, looking factory fresh, with no chips, cracks, restoration, painting or gilding loss.
Note: The Laughing Buddha was first known in Chinese folk lore in the 10th century. The original stories were of a monk in what is now the province of Zhejiang. Ch'i-t'zu was an eccentric but much-loved character who worked small wonders such as predicting the weather.
According to tradition, just before Ch'i-t'zu died he revealed himself to be an incarnation of Maitreya Buddha, the Buddha of a future age