Sunday, 18 May 2008

Time for tea cups

At a slight tangent from the usual bookish Musings - here are some bits of old china.

I have been promising Kim from The Last House in America that I would post some pics so we can have a little tea cup comparing/admiring session.

Of course books and tea cups are two of the most essential components of one of the finest pleasures in life - the Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down (the other component being, of course, a biscuit or a piece of cake, but we won't mention those in the interests of waistlines and general decorum).

Apart from a few family heirlooms and the proper grown-up 'best tea service' (rarely used), my tea cup collection falls neatly into two camps. I don't have time today to take pics of the others, so for now I give you what I think of as my 'sprigged muslin' collection.

These are mostly early- to mid-Victorian and hand-painted (some over a transfered background), and they put me in mind of a Janeite world of sprigged dress fabrics and the genteel partaking of tea in the best parlour. Or on the lawn with strawberries.

As I have neither the resources nor the inclination to spend my days wafting around proper antique shops, these are all very much Rescue Cups - snatched from the jaws of destruction or neglect (or indeed antique dealers) at boot sales, charity shops, village fetes and the odd low-end antique fair. Like Rescue Dogs, most have a few little defects but nothing that can't be overlooked, and bags of character.

I bought my first one for 50p with my student grant in Westgate on Sea, Kent in 1979. At that price I naturally had to think long and hard before closing the deal, but I did and it was well worth it - partly for the bafflement it afforded my flatmates.

I've taken a few of these photos today but the rest are 'some I did earlier' - in fact during the big sorting-out session which preceded my last house move a couple of years ago.


Motheratlarge said...

Beautiful. What a treat to see such lovely china. Thank you for sharing this with us readers!

KSV Woolfoot said...

Well, I enjoyed that! And I am _stupefied_ by the obvious high-level of organization of your house & collection and the great photography. My teacups are shoved into cabinets all over the house, whereever we can find a little space (not easy here with all the freight we have accumulated). The "Single Most Beautiul Teacup in the World," my most recent acquisition (and the only one I paid any real $$ for, btw) is now under the clear glass dome of a cheese plate - the only shelf space I could find for it. I just found a few more we inherited from Husband's mother. Maybe one more post... Great job, as usual. Cheers.

Juliet said...

H - thank you. Happy to share them with someone other than the Dust Monster for once.

K - ha ha ha 'High-level of organization'?? Please. Don't. Make. Me. Laugh!! You will note that the pics are so closely cropped that NO background intrudes. And note also that they are stills, not videos, so you do not see me first removing the pile of homework, music and drawings, the mouth-organ, the odd sock, the clump of dried grass or the multicoloured plaited pipecleaner 'sculpture' from the dresser before taking the pic!

I need a sit down with a cup of tea after all that laughing now!

Juxtabook said...

Aren't they lovely! Quietly pretty and dainty - wish I had the space for a similar collection. Thank you for the peek.

Anonymous said...

I used to look for pretty teacups at antique shops with my mother in law when she was alive. It was such fun hunting them up and purchasing them. Thanks for showcasing these beautiful examples and stirring up one of my favorite memories.

Vic, Ms. Place

Cat said...

Very cool!
Come on by and see some of mine.

Cat said...

Thanks for dropping by!