Archives > Historical Features > Exhibits


University of Pennsylvania China:
Bicentennial Wedgwood Dessert Cups and Saucers, 1940


In commemoration of the University's bicentennial, the University in 1939 commissioned two sets of Wedgwood China, one set of a dozen plates and one set of an equal number of dessert (or demitasse) cups and saucers. One set of dessert cups and saucers originally sold for twenty-two dollars.

Like the plates, the cups were white, printed in red with drawings of campus scenes done by alumni of the University. The scene and the artist are identified on the bottom of each of cup. Each demitasse cup also featured a portrait of Benjamin Franklin. In fact, the Wedgwood China Company was selected for this commission partly because this firm had already produced several portraits of Benjamin Franklin during his lifetime, including the portrait which appears on the cups.

The saucers were all white, featuring a raised design of a laurel wreath and the coat-of-arms of the University.


First Campus

Presidential Mansion
9th Street campus, 1801

College Hall
9th Street campus, 1861

Bennett Hall Entrance

Christian Association

Furness Library

Houston Hall Porch

Moore School Doorway

Provost's House

Provosts' Tower

Reunion in the Triangle

Whitefield Statue and Memorial Tower

Benjamin Franklin Medallion Portrait

Bottom View of Cup



This exhibit was created in July 2005 by University Archives Summer Research Fellow Seth S. Tannenbaum, an undergraduate at Vassar College.