Sometimes children get the best stuff to play with! This cup is part of a complete set of dining ware made for small children to have tea parties with. Sets could have up to 15 pieces consisting of cups, plates, tea pot, milk and sugar bowls.
Many vintage Disney tea sets feature Mickey Mouse doing things like sweeping the floor, rowing in a boat with Minnie, or even riding Horace Horsecollar:
Horace Horsecollar is an anthropomorphic horse created by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney. He first appeared in the 1920s Short The Plowboy as Mickey’s feisty, yet good-natured steed. His name is derived from the giant horsecollar around his neck.
Horace often morphed between a normal and anthropomorphic horse. So although we usually see him upright today on two legs he began on all-fours. Hence the image we see on this cup.
This particular set chose to limit the image to one side to save on manufacturing costs.
Today we might see an image, logo, or saying of some kind inside the cup, but not here.
This set was made in Japan as was common of Disney’s earliest merchandise.
To find a complete set is very rare as young children were and are known to lose or break individual pieces. Still, it’s nice to have an example of such a piece of Disneyana, even if it is practically worthless!