Chinese Fortune-Telling Teacup

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Designed by the suffragette, poet, historian, geographer, and political activist Genevieve B. Wimsatt, the Chinese Fortune-Telling Teacup was patented in 1929, and manufactured by the Canonsburg Pottery.

The set is both a symbol cup and saucer, replete with omens and symbols from Chinese folk-magic, such as the five bats of happiness.

It is an astrological cup and saucer because the saucer is outfitted with the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac surrounding a central tai chi symbol.

It was manufactured in two runs, with differing backstamps in 1931 and 1932.

It came with an extensive and highly informative instruction booklet, and each run had a different colour of paper stock on the booklet cover, the contents being otherwise identical.


catherine yronwode
curator, historian, and docent
The Mystic Tea Room

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