This time, a very rare chocolate cup from Gustavsberg's Prunus series has arrived.
(Photo: Gustavsberg's Prunus chocolate cup )
This cup was made in Sweden around 1970. The Prunus series usually comes in two types: coffee cups and tea cups, but this chocolate cup is an exception. Called "Choklad koppar" in Swedish, this cuboid cup is "chocolate cup" in Japanese. Cups of this shape are rarely produced and are said to be phantom works.
On the other hand, this cup has defects caused by the manufacturing process, similar to those found in Nordic tableware. Cracks, fissures and intrusions were often found, which may have prevented mass production. For example, the production of the ARABIA crocus series was also discontinued in a short period of time, and there are a certain number of intrusions.
(Cracks are cracks that run on the glaze surface during firing during the manufacturing process.)
(Photo: Intrusions seen in the masterpiece crocus, intrusions can be seen at a certain rate on the plate)
Prunus chocolate cup is a prototype?
The Prunus series was produced between 1962 and 1974, but this chocolate cup was probably made in the 1970s. This is because the Gustavsberg tableware of this period was re-fired with a transparent glaze to protect the tableware from paint loss.
(Photo: Stain on the rim. It occurs because the dent is not glazed.)
At that time, the temperature control of the kiln firing was not 100% controlled by machines like today, so the craftsmen devised the placement and amount of charcoal according to the thickness and size of the pottery to be fired.
If you mass-produce the same product, you will gradually accumulate experience points, so hit products will have a lower percentage of defective products.
To put it the other way around, we start from a fumbling state where it is natural to have defective products, so the less defective products that were produced in small quantities, the less defective products will remain in modern times.
I don't know why the Prunus chocolate cup wasn't produced, but the capacity is 380ml when it's full, and when combined with the weight of the cup, it's about 0.6kg. The weight may have played a role as well.
The thickness of the transparent glaze reveals the date of manufacture.
Vintage Prunus was produced for 12 years from 1962 to 1974. But perhaps the chocolate cup was made in the 1970s.
The Gustavsberg tableware series protects the tableware from paint loss by pasting a transfer paper and applying a transparent glaze and re-firing it to coat it. The famous series Bertha, Adam, Salix, Spisalib, etc. are all pasted with transfer paper on plain ceramics, coated with transparent glaze, and fired again to fix the paint.
(Photo: Gustavsberg still manufactures tableware using traditional methods in modern reprints.)
Specifically, the works of the 1960s were characterized by thin layers of transparent glaze and easy paint loss. In the 1970s, however, transparent glaze became thicker, making it possible to protect tableware more strongly from paint loss. The thickness of this transparent glaze is an important clue to identify the production date.
(Photo: Berså plate from the early 1960s, with most of the leaf pattern exposed on the transfer paper)
(Pictured: Berså plate from the 1970s, heavily covered with transparent glaze)
Prunus chocolate cups also show the thickness of the transparent glaze that is characteristic of this period. The back stamp of this cup is stamped with the VDN quality assurance mark.
When were chocolate cups made?
There are two types of vintage prunus backstamps.
The backstamp of the chocolate cup is elaborated on the left side, with the quality assurance mark VDN stamped on the top right of the plum.
VDN is an acronym for “Varu Deklarations Nämnden”, a consumer association with a quality stamp from 1951 to 1973. This mark, along with the 1970 Gustavsberg logo without rope on the anchor, confirms that the chocolate cup was made between 1970 and 1973. (For details, please see the past blog post → " History of the Gustavsberg logo ")
(Pictured: Main Gustavsberg logos of the 20th century)