A Lefton china tea cup is delicate, beautiful and today’s topic. Some days I am inspired by ideas that pop into my head. One such idea was photographing delicate porcelain tea cups. The inspiration came while browsing in my local second hand store for new books to read. I enjoy supporting this particular thrift shop because the proceeds goes towards cancer research. Like all second hand stores there is a large variety of trinkets and treasures to be found there. It’s nick knack section includes a wide selection of glass and porcelain cups, bowls, figurines and more. The tea cups caught my attention that day.
I purchased several tea cups from the thrift store that day. The first task was born out of curiosity. I looked up their marks and learned a bit about their histories and the companies that made them. I discovered this particular teacup was made by the Lefton China Company. Here is my very brief history for budding collectors reading here.
Lefton China Tea Cup
The Lefton China Company started in Chicago, Illinois by a Hungarian porcelain and china collector by the name of George Zoltan Lefton. In 1941 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor many American’s turned their hostilities on Japanese American citizens. In Chicago there was rioting and looting taking place. Lefton came to protect his Japanese American friend Nunome’s porcelain’s business by boarding up windows to protect his livelihood. After the war, in return Numome helped Lefton establish a business connection with China producing goods from Occupied Japan.
By 1946 the first pieces of china marked with the Made in Occupied Japan mark hit the United States. From 1946 to 1952 much of the china was manufactured by the Miyawo Company. Lefton china was produced in Japan to the mid 1970′s. Through out the 1980′s and on the Lefton China Company left Japan and utilized china manufacturing companies in Malaysia and Taiwan. In 2001 the family sold the company and is still produced today.