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Q: This cup looks like a teacup with three holes at the top. It’s marked “Royal Bayreuth, Bavaria,” the initials “P” and “T” in shields, and “Priv. 1794.” Can you help identify what kind of cup it is?


A: This is a shaving mug. The three holes are the clue. The shaving brush rests on the “shelf” to drain. Shaving mugs were popular from 1860 to 1900. The mark on this shaving mug indicate it was made in 1902 or later. The Royal Bayreuth factory was founded in Tettau, Bavaria, Germany, in 1794. “Priv.” is an abbreviation for “privilegierte,” which translates as “privileged.” The initials “P” and “T” stand for Porzellanfabrik Tettau. The factory is still in business, now called Koniglich Privilegierte Porzellanfabrik Tettau (Royally Privileged Porcelain Factory).


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