Artifact of the Month

Japanese moriage chocolate set

Japanese porcelain moriage chocolate set from the early 1900s.  It belonged to farmer Lorenzo and Susan Wakefield of Stockton and was passed down through the family to Adine Gnekow, who donated it to the Museum in 2013.  As a young child, Adine remembers the set displayed in her great grandparents’ dining room on the farm.


The set consists of a chocolate pot with lid and six demitasse cups and saucers.  One side of the set is decorated with a scene of a stream with green hills and trees and the other side depicts two birds sitting on a Japanese maple branch.  Surrounding the central images is a raised floral motif.


The raised floral motif on the pitcher and cups is made using a technique called moriage.  To achieve this three-dimensional effect, a sticky, thick clay known as slip is layered onto the pottery and then it is fired.  The process is repeated until the desired look is achieved.  The raised dots on the beverage set are made from small bits of clay.  Once the decorating is complete, the moriage pieces and beading are painted and beverage set is fired a final time. 



For more information on the history of chocolate pots visit:

Description of Collections

The San Joaquin County Historical Museum maintains a collection of objects representative of the history of San Joaquin County.  These objects include:
  • Furnishings and household goods from the family of Capt. Charles M. Weber
  • Furnishings and household goods of William and Julia Micke
  • Textiles, quilts, clothing, and Chinese theatrical costumes
  • Native Peoples baskets and objects
  • Toys and recreational equipment
  • Tractors and agricultural equipment
  • Tools, wagons, and motor vehicles

The San Joaquin County Historical Society accepts donations of artifacts, photographs, and documents on behalf of the County of San Joaquin.  Donations to the collection are accepted based on their relevance to the social, political, agricultural, industrial, technological, economic, and cultural heritage of San Joaquin County.

For more information about donating artifacts contact Julie Blood, Collections and Exhibits Manager at  


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