Pretty Violet Teacups, Possibly Japanese With Eagle or Bird Mark and the letter E
Eagle or Bird Mark and the letter E bone china
Hello! I'm a new collector, mostly interested in tea cups. I work in a laboratory setting, with a degree in biology (specialized in botany), and have a pretty avid interest in tea.
In particular, I'm a huge fan of Azorean teas (Gorreana's orange pekoe is my favorite). I discovered it on a trip to the isle of Sao Miguel one year ago, and it was just one of many of the enchanting objects which I encountered there.
This rekindled a latent interest in tea which has since developed into a bit of an obsession with all things tea-related, which my peers (I'm in my mid twenties) find amusing. The absurd specificity of lemon forks was once the butt of quite a few jokes.
I recently purchased a set of lovely bone china teacups online in pursuit of my quaint obsession, and am quite enamored with them already. I spent hours looking at tea cups and weighing options until these ones really jumped out and seized my attention. I was further intrigued by the mystery involved.
I'm the kind of person who loves to sit down and thumb through a botanical guide seeking to pinpoint any baffling specimens which I encounter, so this aspect caught my attention immediately.
For example, I once camped in the Canadian Rockies with a friend and her family, and took a large copy of a guide to Alberta flora with me on a hike to a mountain summit to do just that. I spent about thirty minutes hunched over a little lacy-leafed and purple flowered pea peaking from a pile of scree, flipping through the pages of my dichotomous key at what was certainly the highest altitude I've every reached in my life.
In the end I left without any luck at identification, and though I remember the wild vistas
with a fuzzy sense of glory I can picture the frustrating little flower in perfect detail.
My fixation with this sort of thing is similar, I guess. All of my other teacups have been easy to pinpoint due to online search tools, while this one is akin to that weird little purple-flowered legume still waiting at the crown of Jasper to be given a name.
I would be much obliged if you could help me to find one.
Here's what I know thus far:
Description: Matching white bone china cups and saucers painted with bright violet flowers and leaves. The paintings seem to be of entire violet plants, with some flowers born close to the basal rosette while others dangle on long, slender stems. Each plant is identical to all of the others. The edges of each cup and saucer are gilt in a speckled pattern, while the stand and handle feature a more solid gold edge. No damage to the cups. There is also a similar violet plant painted on the inside of each cup. They are not marked with any country or origin.
Backstamp: The seller of the item was stumped by the backstamp, thinking that perhaps they were Japanese due to the design style. The backstamp shows a crested bird of some sort, wings spread and head facing to the left, over a cursive capital letter 'E' framed by two mirrored, elaborate shapes. Below the E and between the shapes is what looks like it could be another letter, perhaps a lowercase 'f', though it could also be just another squiggle. At the bottom, the words BONE CHINA in all caps are written in a convex curve.
Thank you very much for whatever assistance you can render; I look very much forward to having a little more light shed on this.