Watercolour on Paper No 86



Japanese Dragon Tea


This is a piece from tea set that my mother gave me, originally belonging to my father’s aunt. I have never thought much of it and it has been in a box in the garage for years.
Looking for a subject today I dragged out a couple of pieces. The dragons are in gold leaf, so I am not sure that I have done them justice. I was curious to see where it came from, and after a bit of research, I have found and it originates from Japan in the 1930’s.
I had previous noted a little relief image in the bottom of the cup (second photo), and assumed it was to produce an image when the teacup was almost empty. Sort of reading the tea leaves, but you always get the same answer. “You will meet a beautiful stanger!”
What I didn’t know, is that image is actually a lithopone, the definition of which Wiki says is;
A lithophane (French: lithophanie) is an etched or moulded artwork in very thin translucent porcelain that can be seen clearly only when back lit with a light source. It is a design or scene in intaglio that appears "en grisaille" (in grey) tones. Third Picture!
What a nice surprise to find that beautiful image hidden in the bottom of the cup. I am more of a big picture person but loving the the that the current circumstances affords me to take some time to look deeper.


140 x 190 mm 


Japanese Dragon Tea