The bottom of this teacup contains a lithophane of a Geisha woman that shows when you hold the cup up to the light.
· ·

A Vintage Dragonware Teacup with a Lithophane Image of a Geisha

This post contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you or the shops to which they link. I appreciate your support.

One of the most delightful aspects of hunting for vintage is the sweet element of surprise. Most of today’s decor is mass-produced with very little attention paid to the details that make a piece special and treasured by its owner. However, when you hunt for vintage, you will quickly find that surprising and treasured details abound. That is the case with this demitasse dragonware teacup.

This dragonware teacup features a lithophane image of a Geisha woman that show when you hold the cup up to the light.
Vintage Dragonware Teacup
This dragonware teacup features a lithophane image of a Geisha woman that show when you hold the cup up to the light.

The term “dragonware” refers to a specific type of Japanese porcelain with raised designs. These pieces are called “moriage,” meaning “raised enamels.” The overall effect of the raised designs of dragonware is one of cupcake frosting! Production of dragonware began in Japan in the late 19th century and continues today. Newer dragonware is often made for the souvenir market and is not as fine as its antique ancestors.

The bottom of this teacup contains a lithophane of a Geisha woman that shows when you hold the cup up to the light.
Vintage Geisha Lithophane Teacup

This particular dragonware teacup is a newer piece, likely dating from the middle of the 20th century. It is an attractive dragonware confection, but the true surprise is at the bottom of the teacup. When you hold the cup to the light, a lithophane image of a beautiful geisha appears.

The first time I saw a geisha lithophane piece, I was examining a sake set I had purchased for resale. Purely by chance, I held one of the sake cups to the light and caught a glimpse of a gorgeous woman in its depths. Perhaps this unexpected experience has cemented these simple lithophane pieces in a special place in my heart!

Dragonware and lithophane items are currently easy to come by in the United States and relatively affordable. You can search for lithophane dragonware on Etsy and eBay.

Lavender lithophane dragonware tea set offered by Vintage77Studio on Etsy
Lavender lithophane dragonware tea set offered by Vintage77Studio on Etsy

Do you find the lithophane detail charming? What delightful surprises or details have you found on vintage pieces? Tell me about it in the comment section below!

Explore Faedra.com for more vintage home decor finds!

♥ Note: All photos belong to Faedra or the shop to which they link. If you click on the affiliate links in this post, Etsy will pay me a commission on subsequent purchases at no additional cost to you or the seller.  This extra money allows me to continue providing free, helpful, and entertaining content to my readers. I appreciate your support. ♥

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.