Monday, 26 May 2008

Time for tea cups II

I promise not to turn Musings into one of those 'hey, look at all my lovely stuff' blogs. Really, truly, I do.
But last week's Tea Cup post seemed to go down rather well in various corners of the world, so please turn away now if you came here for bookish stuff and/or island pics.

Here are some more of my tea cups!

Today's little lot are all from Foley Peacock Pottery (a trading name of Wileman & Co, Stoke-on-Trent, which later changed its name to Shelley), from between around 1900 and 1905.

The first two pictured above were designed by George Logan 1866—1939, who was one of the most prolific designers for Wylie & Lochhead, a Glasgow department store that popularized the Glasgow Style of the British Arts and Crafts Movement - the most influential exponent of which was, of course, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Logan may well have designed some of the others here, too, but I haven't found any documentary evidence of the designs. They all have that Glasgow feel to them, anyway.

The first two (saucerless) cups I acquired caught my eye when I was in my teens at an antiques fair at Wellington College, which I'd cycled to, just to see what an antiques fair was like (I'm so ancient that such things were a whole new concept at the time!).

I paid 40p each for the cups. I loved their brilliant opalescent whiteness, the characteristic shades of green and pink in Logan's stylised rose design, and of course their 'Mackintoshy' aura.

I've picked up lots more over the years and in fact have more plates now than cups, and more tiny coffee cups than tea cups. The china is so thin that it's rather scary to drink out of them - and many of these, being 'rescue cups', are not fit to use anyway. But on occasions when there have been no children at large I have taken tea from some of my Logan Foley cups.

They absolutely demand something fragrant like Earl Grey or Lapsang Souchong and only the very thinnest and most delicate of biscuits as accompaniment (nearly said 'to dunk' there - heaven forfend!). And it's true what they say - tea tastes so much better out of bone china. Something I tend to forget as I gulp Yorkshire Tea from my pint-size 'work mug'.

So, what do you think? All comments most welcome.

(PS Apologies for the poor quality of these photos. My happy snappy PowerShot is better at views than it is at this kind of thing and the big grown-up Nikons are out of the house today.)


Cat said...

As a Glaswegian I'm sitting here in California doing summersalts!

They are truly beautiful. Wow!

monix said...

What a beautiful collection, J. My mother-in-law is leaving all of her beautiful china to me and I get nervous every time she uses any of it. I know it would be in poor taste to ask if I could take photos, but I do encourage her to use mugs and teabags. Purely for her convenience, of course!

Anonymous said...

Coo - you wouldn't consider selling them would you? No I thought not. What a wonderful period that was for the decorative arts. When I took the scary step of setting up my own consultancy in 1989, I used a Charles Rennie Mackintosh typeface for the letterhead and it stayed in place until 1996 by which time the business had grown and we needed a bit of a corporate overhaul. A designer friend gave us a fabulous new look to complement the new name but I always missed that distinctive Mackintosh lettering.

Juliet said...

Cat - mind you land on your feet now! Glad you like them.

M - mugs and teabags are definitely to be encouraged under some circs!

D - I absolutely love Mackintosh's designs, gasp at his architecture and interiors, and adore his watercolours (especially those he painted in Walberswick, just up the coast from here). Like so many wonderful things, though, his work has become sadly devalued by the ubiquitous, tacky, repro stuff peddled by Past Times and others of that ilk to the point of absurdity. Plastic Mackintosh apron anyone? Yuck!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful china, and very delicate - I too love the nouveau period. Especially the CRM and Talwin Morris designed bookbindings for Blackie! The Walberswick watercolours are lovely too - the fritillary is a favourite.

Kim Velk said...

Busy busy busy, aren't we, my teacup (and saucer) partner in crime? I had been wondering what you were up to after your recent brief absence from "Musings" and now I know. How do you do it? Keeping the kids busy (and so creatively), paid work, housework, reading and _reviewing_(!) mystery novels - so many links so many excellent photos. Just reading through these last few posts makes me tired. Love the saucers and the cups too, of course. Also happy to hear mention of Kipper. Though Kid 2 is now 7 we still get out our Kipper DVDs often (brilliant). I identify most with Tiger - maybe Sockthing as well. I am getting behind in my own blogging and keeping a list of posts I need to write. Check back soon for, "I Will Show You Fear in a Boxful of Buttons" and my foray into video art... All these last posts are great, as usual. Cheers.

Susie Vereker said...

Lovely photos, as usual. (Trying to catch up after a week away)

Anonymous said...

Even male doggerelists have enjoyed the crockery posts, Juliet....they're handsome objects....

PS would comment more often if the Wordpress sign-in via the "openID" worked logically: I've several times attempted comments here which have been lost between writing and being told to login *again*, eh?....*sigh*....anyway, I read your blog regularly even though my comments get shredded.... :-)

fumusfumus said...

I have a plate in the last cup and saucer style, plus a couple of cups and saucers somewhere in the family. Must re-unite them. I've always found them attractive but never used them.