Underground Garden Espresso Cup and Saucer Chinaware

I bought this curiously embellished standard espresso cup and saucer on eBay some years ago. It has a hand-painted design on its surface and it seems to be a type of souvenir or memory piece for the Underground Garden in Fresno, California, a wonderous vernacular built space constructed by Baldassare Forestiere (1879-1946) over a forty-year period.  Using simple hand tools, Forestiere carved out of the ground a sprawling series of living spaces, passageways, courtyards, grottoes, and gardens. Originally from Filari (Messina province), Sicily, he immigrated to the United States, first to the East Coast, when he was 22 and eventually settled near Fresno around 1906.

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