MOCHA WARE DEREK HARPER My interest in Mocha ware began in 1964 when, during our excavations on the site of the old Ynysmeudwy Pottery, we came across sherds of unglazed coloured slipware decorated with tree-like patterns. Each tree was different from the rest, which indicated that it was not a transfer print nor hand painted, but was individually formed by some sort of chemical reaction such as the reaction of an acidic liquor upon the alkaline slip on the cläy body. From the shape of the sherds it was possible to ascertain the shape and size of the articles. These were small QA pint) and medium (1 pint) sized tankards such as those used in inns and taverns in the nineteenth century. On asking fellow pottery collectors and consulting numerous books on. ceramics, we discovered that the tree-like decoration on pottery came under the classification of Mocha ware. We were intrigued by this unique and rather pleasing style of decoration and began searching the antique shops for examples. They were not too difficult to find nor expensive to buy, and we bought every piece that we came across. Soon we had accumulated a collection of some twenty to thirty pieces, not all of which were beer tankards but other interesting items such as jugs, butter dishes, a coffee pot, and a chamber pot. It was noted that on all of the tankards, the 'trees' were black whereas on the other articles they occurred in blue, pink, yellow, green, as well as black. Mocha gets its name from the gemstone Moss Agate which was sold by Georgian jewellers as Mocha Stone merely because the finest quality was imported from the port of Mocha on the Red Sea coast of Arabia; it had no association with the town's coffee. Mocha stone, or more correctly moss agate, is a milky-looking stone and is a variety of silica mineral quartz that contains opaque dark coloured inclusions, which are mainly manganese and iron oxides. These resemble moss, ferns and tree-like three-dimensional forms within the stone. The agates were cut and polished so that the tree-like patterns were revealed, these were then made up into various items of jewellery especially rings and pendants (Fig. 1). When a method of creating similar patterns on cream ware was discovered during the 1780s the result was named Mocha pottery after the fashionable jewel. Mocha ware is a variety of slip ware pottery decorated with coloured bands of specially prepared slip with moss-agate effects superimposed under the glaze (Fig. 2). To Victorians the ware was also known as seaweed fern, moss and tree pottery. The Staffordshire potters themselves dubbed it 'spit ware'. The invention of Mocha pottery is traditionally attributed to the celebrated potter,