Rachel Berger’s cup
The cup in question is part of a set collected by Rachel Berger’s great-grandmother, Hinda Kaplan (c. 1875-1962), in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Hinda suffered from heart trouble and would travel from her home in Klaipėda, Lithuania (referred to by its historic German name, Memel, by its Jewish residents) to take the waters at Karlsbad, a noted Central European spa town, to try to improve her health. While abroad, Hinda added to her substantial collection of decorative objects. The cups came from all over Europe, and she was particularly proud of having Viennese, English, and Irish porcelain in her collection.
The cup broken by her great-great grandson in 2019 was produced in the Royal Vienna style. The royal family of Austria owned the Kaiserlich privilegierte Porcellain Fabrique (Vienna Porcelain Manufactory) from 1744 until 1864, and the goods produced were embossed with a blue mark resembling a shield; after the company ceased production, porcelain produced in this Royal Viennese style often carried a similar mark. It is unclear whether this particular cup was an original or a later reproduction.