Miniature loving cup, with Edinburgh coat of arms

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made in Glasgow

Postcard of Miniature loving cup, with Edinburgh coat of arms.
© National Museums Scotland

Miniature loving cup, with Edinburgh coat of arms

This porcelain miniature loving cup is decorated with the Edinburgh coat of arms. It was made for the souvenir market by the Nautilus Porcelain Company at the Possil Pottery in Glasgow and dates from between around 1900 and 1910.

Edinburgh Castle is represented in the arms and is flanked by a doe or hind and a long-haired maiden. The doe refers to a legend connected to St Giles and the maid alludes to a Pictish legend. The anchor above the castle alludes to the Lord Provost, Admiral of the Firth of Forth. The Latin motto underneath reads 'NISI DOMINUS FRUSTRA' which appears to be derived from the first verse of the 127th Psalm, 'Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain'.

Crested china became the most important type of British souvenir between 1900 and 1930. Its invention is credited to William Henry Goss (1833-1906), the owner of the Falcon Works in Stoke-on Trent. The main producer of crested china in Scotland was the Nautilus Porcelain Company, at the Possil Pottery in Glasgow. Run by the china merchants MacDougall & Sons, of 77-79 Buchanan Street, the company produced 'Nautilus' miniatures between around 1900 and 1910. The pottery closed in 1911.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-001-963-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.1994.780
Date: Between around 1900 and 1910
Material: Porcelain. Inscription: [Edinburgh arms]; mark: Nautilus M Porcelain
Dimensions: 40 mm H x 45 mm D
What: Tyg / tankard, miniature / souvenir
Who: Nautilus Porcelain Company, Possil Park, Glasgow (Maker)
Where: Scotland, Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Possil Park
Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Description: Porcelain three-handled tyg or tankard with the coat of arms of Edinburgh, made by the Nautilus Porcelain Company, Possil Park, Glasgow
  • Evans, G. Souvenirs From Roman Times to the Present Day. Edinburgh: NMS Publishing Ltd, 1999, pp 52-5. 
  • Porteous, A. The Town Council Seals of Scotland Historical, Legendary and Heraldic. Edinburgh and London: W & A K Johnston, MCMVI, p 110-11. 
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