a victorian mochaware quart measure tankard..sold
height 155mm x diameter 115mm
sold .. an excellent quart measure mocha ware tankard dating to around 1860.
although the inventor of mochaware is unknown, the earliest surviving pieces date from around 1800 (give or take a few years) and originated in stoke, though items were produced across britain, france and america. they were practical and sturdy ceramic vessels that were affordable to buy, and made for day-to-day activities such as drinking ale or cider.
each unique pattern is created by touching or dripping an acidic ‘tea’ solution onto the wet slip of a mug, tankard or other vessel. this ‘tea’, is a complicated concoction of tobacco juice, stale urine, turpentine and sometimes vinegar, it causes a reaction with the alkaline slip, which creates the unusual tree-like patterns.
the designs are called mochaware because they resemble the patterns found in moss agate, a semi-precious gemstone formed from silicon dioxide, which was exported in large numbers from the port city of mocha in yemen. a port better known for its export of coffee!